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Consultant warns against Toshiba diversion

June 19, 2012

Toshiba’s proposed ‘No-Print Day’ is a distraction from print demand trends, claims Dr. Joe Webb.

Despite the negative response so far collected regarding Toshiba’s ‘No-Print Day’, including paper industry forum Two Sides, Dr. Joe Webb has warned against allowing the uproar to distract paper industry members and companies from becoming distracted from the market trends influencing print demand.

A graphic arts consultant, Webb is keen to stress that while “environmental issues are an important backdrop and a convenient excuse […] the constant change in communication options [are] core trend markers.

“If someone could wave a magic wand and make the environmental issues and perceptions about print disappear, we would still have to deal with the effects of the internet, social media, mobile communications, decreasing costs of computing, decreasing costs of communications and increasing speeds of those communication technologies.”

With these elements possessing a constant threat to print demand, Webb stipulates that “the drivers of the declines in print demand are the convenience, lower cost, and widening choices that anyone has to access content.

“Content needs to be where consumers and users of content want it to be at a time of the consumer’s choosing […] this is a radical shift from the old content structure of content creators choosing the time and place of consumption of their content.”

The dispute as witnessed on the #noprintday tag on Twitter suggests that support and outrage are equally balanced, with many members of the Printing Industries of America accusing Toshiba of greenwashing. As of 19 June, No-Print Day is stated as having only 316 pledges thus far.

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