The winds they are a-changing

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Your feature on directories and the atmosphere at the DPA’s 25th birthday celebrations may at last sound a wind of change for a media that is sometimes viewed as a poor relation in the print industry.

I believe that directory publishers have, in the past, allowed their products to be those poor relations. The industry has long bemoaned the bogus publishers instead of promoting their own strengths. Historically, not enough effort has been put into helping the advertiser to become a discerning buyer. Ad agencies are unlikely to put directories onto their schedules until they see some hard evidence of credibility.

With the help of today’s highly regarded secretariat, DPA members have it within their power to consign these issues to history.

If DPA members will join other media in viewing ABC as a valuable sales and marketing tool, rather than just an audit, it can receive a double whammy. First, it will help put their titles onto agency schedules. Second, it will give advertisers reason to listen to the argument that there are bogus publishers against whom they should discriminate.

Many directory publishers will say that circulation isn’t an issue with directory advertisers. However, if the dubious claims of the bogus publishers are to be exposed, DPA members must make it an issue. ABC will help, and we’re already certifying CD-Rom products.

Trevor Foley

Director of marketing and communications

Audit Bureau of Circulations

Hertfordshire

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