Reading between the lines of ABC/NRS poll

Torin Douglas (MW July 27) reports criticism of the National Readership Survey (NRS), at least partly, based on the fact that when “readership goes down and circulation is going

Torin Douglas (MW July 27) reports criticism of the National Readership Survey (NRS), at least partly, based on the fact that when “readership goes down and circulation is going

up” there are “howls of complaint”.

This interpretation of the relationship between the two measurements is based on the assumption that readers per copy is an unchanging number across the whole of an issue’s circulation and not merely the average – which of course it is.

Circulation changes are the net effect of gains and losses. If the gains are of copies which have a low readership per copy (logical, given that new buyers are likely to come from existing readers who previously

shared) and if lost copy sales are those with a high readership per copy (again logical if they are multi-shared office copies that are cut from corporate budgets) then the net effect can be one of rising circulation and declining readership.

For publications that promote via give-aways designed to bring in the uncommitted buyer who then fails to become a committed reader sharing their copy according to the established “average” practice, this breakdown in the previous Audit Bureau of Circulations/NRS relationship is inevitable.

It isn’t necessarily the NRS that is “broken” – maybe just the interpretation of the results.

Richard Bedwell

Consultant

BMRB

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

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

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

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 will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

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

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

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