You’ve got to wonder why the same folks who want their TV campaigns evaluated against every angle from Audience Affinity to CPP and PIB, and who would not buy a R200 toaster if it didn’t come with a manufacturers guarantee, would throw money at print advertising without requiring the same reassurance.
Because that’s what an ABC certificate represents. A minimum gesture of good faith by reputable publishers!
Media agencies are often accused by publishers, of supporting non-ABC titles, to the detriment of advertisers, but the reality is that the vast majority of advertising support in these titles is approved by the advertisers themselves, rather than media agencies. In fact, much of it occurs despite recommendations of media agencies to the contrary.
Unfortunately much of the blame for this impasse can be laid at the doorstep of the very body which was been charged with the promoting audited circulations as a currency of safe exchange. The ABC itself!
The progressive erosion of the ABC as a “gold standard” for measuring quality distribution of print media has opened the back door for many slick publishing operations, who have managed to convince unsuspecting advertisers that a claimed print order and a glossy format will somehow translate into a return on media investment.
Coupled to this, the failure by the ABC to aggressively promote the concept of “core circulation” as the true benchmark of advertising value, means that far too few media decision-makers are aware of this concept, let alone make active use of it in scheduling.
Personally I’d just as soon get into a car with a stranger who greeted me with a “hello little boy, would you like a sweetie”, as hand over my client’s money to someone who thinks dumping a box full of publications at a shopping mall, or as happened this Friday past, on a traffic island outside a coffee shop in Illovo, and stamping them “free copy”, represents good advertising value.