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

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

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

THE BEST CONTENT

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.

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 are 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.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

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