A top client has blasted the Audit Bureau of Circulation at its own
conference, criticising the sales monitoring body for failing to keep
pace with advertisers’ changing needs.
Patrick Burton, the group media manager at Allied Domecq, argued that if
the ABC did not identify the changing needs of clients, it would go the
way of the Poster Marketing Bureau, which collapsed three years ago.
He also claimed many clients would like to see the setting up of ageneric advertising bureau, along the lines of the successful Radio
Addressing the ABC’s 1995 conference at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in
London this week, Burton lambasted the ABC’s current auditing procedure,
saying there was not enough information for it to be useful. He added
that the six-month time lag for magazines, which post ABCs only twice a
year, meant that the data was stale.
In a speech that strayed widely from his brief, Burton went on to say:
‘Many magazines and newspapers don’t have auditors at all and there
appears to be a conspiracy of silence around publications that don’t
market full ABCs. Advertisers’ needs are dictating a different service
from the one currently on offer.
‘For example, we are becoming a publisher through our Worldwide Web
magazine and we’re not alone. Banks and travel agencies are becoming
media owners too - can the ABC cope?’
Anthony Peacham, the director of marketing and communications at the
ABC, said: ‘The ABC is a consensus organisation. Our auditing rules and
reporting procedures are under constant revision and any proposals for
change will receive full consideration.’
Perspective, page 20