PPA CONFERENCE: Morgan urges end to NRS division

Ray Morgan, the chairman of the National Readership Surveys, has called on newspaper and magazine publishers to stop feuding over the future of the NRS - or lose the jointly funded single source research it provides.

Ray Morgan, the chairman of the National Readership Surveys, has

called on newspaper and magazine publishers to stop feuding over the

future of the NRS - or lose the jointly funded single source research it

provides.



Speaking at the Periodical Publishers Association’s Magazines ’99

conference this week, Morgan warned the PPA and its newspaper

counterpart, the Newspaper Publishers Association, that it was time to

’face up to the future of the NRS and make it work without whingeing

around the fringes’.



His comments come in the midst of a public battle between the two bodies

- which each contribute 37 per cent of NRS funding - over the future

content of a revised NRS.



The NPA is demanding a significant reduction in the number of magazine

titles researched, but the move is being resisted by the PPA. An

agreement must be reached by June. Morgan told the conference: ’There

has got to be an agreement or there isn’t going to be an NRS.’



He questioned whether media buyers would take seriously surveys produced

separately by the NPA and the PPA, claiming: ’They would be seen to be

promotional. They’ve got to be at arm’s length with press research.’



Morgan suggested that a possible solution to the rift would be to keep

the same number of magazine titles in the survey, but to rotate

them.



Mark Cranmer, the managing director of Motive Communications and the IPA

media policy group’s head of press, was concerned that agencies and

advertisers would lose out in the event of a split.



’We are united in that we want a single survey,’ he told delegates. ’It

would be very shortsighted of the PPA and the NPA to split and create a

different single currency for each medium.’



He added: ’We are the customers and we’re getting lost in the degree of

politics between the NPA and PPA.’



Duncan Edwards, deputy managing director of the National Magazine

Company, said that both the PPA and NPA were ’very anxious’ to continue

with a single survey and single source data for the NRS, but admitted:

’There are one or two areas where we haven’t quite reached agreement.’



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