Studying form of the sections

What an intriguing letter from Guy Sellers of Total Media (MW, October 27) commenting on the recent newspaper sections readership research from Leo Burnett and CIA. Three points need to be made in response.

Firstly, is this the same Total Media which declared on this self-same letters page, as recently as June, that “we should not hold our breath folks, sectionalisation research isn’t going to be available for at least the next three years”.

How foolish it must feel with the recent arrival of not one, but two studies on this subject.

Secondly, he should understand that the CIA and Burnett studies do not duplicate or conflict with each other, as anyone in media research will gladly tell him. Each uses a different methodology to research different aspects of sections readership.

Lastly, I cannot deny that one of Burnett’s motives for joining forces with Express Newspapers and the COI in this project was to provide our clients with a competitive advantage in the aspects of press planning and buying. This said, the study is already making a meaningful contribution to the wider debate on all-industry-sponsored sections research. And as the IPA has acknowledged in the Seal of Approval it has just awarded the research, “the survey fills a large part of the prominent gap in [the industry’s] knowledge”.

Let’s hope that Total Media’s future contribution to this sensitive topic is a little more constructive.

Rupert Steele

UK media research manager

Leo Burnett

London SW3

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here