Audit Bureau Offers Print, Web Audiences in One Report

'Ad Age' First Mag to Use New Option

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Tracking a publication's audience in print and online has been a challenge for media buyers, given that the metrics for each don't easily mesh and have been tracked by separate entities. A new report, to be known as a Consolidated Media Report, approved by the Audit Bureau of Circulations in July hopes to address those problems.
The new report is aimed at publishers who want advertisers to focus on their total readership rather than simple paid circulation.
The new report is aimed at publishers who want advertisers to focus on their total readership rather than simple paid circulation.

The new report is aimed at publishers who want advertisers to focus on their total readership rather than simple paid circulation. Advertising Age was the first title to issue a Consolidated Media Report. Three publishing houses representing several dozen titles have expressed interest in providing consolidated media reports after the end of the year, an Audit Bureau spokesman said.

While the old-school but everlasting Audit Bureau publisher's statements concentrate on paid and other forms of circulation, they don't detail pass-along copies or unique visitors to magazines' websites (although publishers have the option of including top-line web activity or pass-along numbers).

'Consolidated Media Report'
"The ABC Consolidated Media Report is a capsule summary of a publisher's audience activity across several media," an Audit Bureau spokesman said in an email. "It is intended to give advertisers a convenient, single-source view of how their messages can reach a core targeted audience multiple times in multiple ways. It is not, in itself, a new ABC audit program."

But one media buyer said he was skeptical of some of the numbers for now. "I question the validity of public place and web impressions," he said.

And there's another little worry: The consolidated reports come stamped with the warning, "There was no attempt made to eliminate any duplication that may exist." So some readers are all but certainly being counted twice.

"Our advertiser members, who were intimately involved in the development of the new consolidated report, will access the individual audit reports for that kind of data," the Audit Bureau spokesman said when asked about the duplication issue.
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