Media buyers call for ABC figures overhaul

Media buyers are urging Douglas McArthur to radically overhaul the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) reporting frequencies across national newspapers and consumer magazines.

The call comes as the ABC announces that McArthur, the former chief executive of the Radio Advertising Bureau, is to be tasked with undertaking the review.

Media buyers are hoping the review will prompt McArthur to offer a speedier alternative than the current disciplines of half-yearly and monthly reporting for consumer magazines and national newspapers.

Steve Goodman, managing director at Group M, says: "I would always stress that when clients buy into a title they should get what they pay for and not an average over six months."

Goodman’s views are echoed by McCann press buyer Dan Pimm, who says: "We would love to see month by month figures on magazines and daily figures for newspapers".

Another supporter of more detailed circulation figures is NatMags, which posts on its website data on its month-on-month sales after each six month ABC measurement period.

The ABC has declined to alter its circulation frequency despite reviewing the process in the past.

Sceptics believe increased frequency of circulation could lead to an excess of information.

McArthur will gauge the views of media owners, advertisers and media buyers as part of the review. The review is scheduled to be concluded by mid 2007, when the findings will reported to the ABC Council. The council, which has equal advertising buyer and seller representation, will then decide whether to implement any proposed changes.

Chris Boyd, chief executive at ABC, says the "ABC is always focused on listen-ing to its members and delivering to the needs of the market."

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