Agencies embrace QRS study but query simplistic research

Media planners and buyers welcomed the results of the Quality of Reading Survey this week though there is concern that the research is too simplistic.

Media planners and buyers welcomed the results of the Quality of

Reading Survey this week though there is concern that the research is

too simplistic.



The research, which looks at the way in which publications are read,

aims to give media planners and buyers a greater understanding of the

differences within the print medium. The results reveal a strong topline

for magazines over newspapers in terms of readership behaviour. This has

led to renewed calls by newspaper groups for NRS to review its data and

methodology for newspaper supplement sections.



Central to the QRS study is Page Exposures (PEX) which show the number

of times a page is exposed to a reader in terms of a single

insertion.



The results show that while the life of an average magazine or newspaper

supplement offers 2.2 exposures per page, the PEX for magazines is twice

that for newspapers.



In terms of the average reading time, paid-for magazines account for

53.9 minutes among all adults compared with 39.3 minutes for daily

newspapers and 25.3 for newspaper supplements and sections. The average

magazine is picked up 5.4 times compared with 2.6 for newspaper

supplements and sections.



David Fletcher, head of CIA MediaLab, said: ’It’s one-dimensional. If

anyone says we have a more effective medium because we have more

eyesight glances, they’re only looking at one half of the issue. I

welcome PEX, but I won’t use it in isolation as a trading tool, because

is only tells half the story. If magazine publishers think they can

trade on it, they will have a shock.’



Tim McCloskey, deputy managing director of BMP Optimum, said: ’It puts

magazines on the front foot, which is good for the medium. But it

doesn’t tell us about clutter, how advertising is read or the intensity

of read.



It won’t change the way press is sold and traded.’



Laura James, head of press at New PHD, said: ’If this is supposed to be

a proactive stance, why have a cheap shot at the national press?

However, the results in themselves are invaluable and answer all those

questions clients ask.’



Georgina Crace, advertising director at IPC SouthBank Group, denied that

QRS was intended to knock newspaper advertising. ’It’s not meant to be a

head-on-head debate between magazines and newspapers. This is supposed

to be good news for the print medium.’



Editor’s comment, p51.



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