American Magazine Conference News

MPA CHAIRMAN CALLS FOR END OF RATE-BASE SYSTEM

AMC Told 'Circulation-Based Metrics Are Irrelevant'

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FAJARDO, Puerto Rico (AdAge.com) -- Jack Kliger, the new chairman of the Magazine Publishers of America, laid down a set of challenges to the industry at the opening of the American Magazine Conference this morning, including the end of the rate-base economy.
Jack Kliger, chairman of the Magazine Publishers of America, called for an end of the rate-base economy.
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'Irrelevant'
“Paid circulation rate-base guarantees are a legacy of an era that predates modern audience measurement metrics,” Mr. Kliger told the assembled crowd of publishers, advertisers and agency executives here. “Circulation-based metrics are irrelevant in calculating advertising return on investment.”

Mr. Kliger is also President-CEO of Hachette Filipacchi Media US, publisher of magazines including Elle, Car & Driver, Popular Photography & Imaging, American Photo, and Woman's Day.

Where other media study impressions and ad effectiveness -- in a timely fashion -- magazine publishers come to the fight for ad budgets with one hand in their back pockets, Mr. Kliger implied.

“The fact that our metrics aren’t comparable to those of other media puts us at a clear disadvantage,” he said. “Everyone else deals in audience; we deal in circulation.”

Circulation scandals
Mr. Kliger did not allude to the continuing rumbling over total paid circulation, sponsored sales and circulation quality, but a move toward audience measurement would certainly take some of the heat out of that conversation.

“Why should an advertiser care whether a magazine copy is paid or unpaid -- or how much, or by whom -- if it delivers readers who are appropriate targets for their products?” Mr. Kliger asked.

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