P&G chief strikes out at publishers

Procter & Gamble’s head of media has branded magazine owners “out of touch” with the media industry because of their refusal to supply circulation data that would allow proper post-campaign analysis.

Procter & Gamble’s head of media has branded magazine owners “out of touch” with the media industry because of their refusal to supply circulation data that would allow proper post-campaign analysis.

He says the same issue needs to be addressed at daily national newspapers.

Bernard Balderston, P&G’s associate director of UK Media, claims available data means advertisers are forced to use a circulation figure taken as an average over a six-or 12-month period, rather than on an individual issue basis, so “making a nonsense of any post-campaign analysis.”

Single issue variance has been listed as a topic for discussion at a meeting of the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ consumer magazine specialist committee on November 9.

Balderston, who is a committee member, claims that with other forms of media, such as radio and TV, advertisers can conduct spot-by-spot post-campaign analysis.

“From a media buying point of view, the magazine owners are well out of touch with the media industry,” he says. “If they want advertisers to continue to spend, they will have to provide more data.”

He adds: “The issue also applies to daily newspapers, as they only issue circulation figures on a monthly basis.”

Under existing ABC rules, magazine publishers have the option of declaring a 20 per cent variance for a single issue above or below the average circulation figure if they report on a six-monthly basis. Those that report figures on an annual basis must report variances of 10 per cent or more.

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