NPA admits failure of NRS performance in its present form

The Newspaper Publishers Association has acknowledged for the first time that the National Readership Surveys is outdated and no longer serves the needs of the newspaper market.

The Newspaper Publishers Association has acknowledged for the first

time that the National Readership Surveys is outdated and no longer

serves the needs of the newspaper market.



The admission was made last week by Bob Hulks, the independent chairman

of the NPA Review Group - the body which is looking at how the NRS

should develop in the future in tandem with the Institute of

Practitioners in Advertising and Periodical Publishers Association.



He told delegates at the MRG conference that newspaper investment

research was minimal and the research under-funded. He pointed out that

it accounted for about 0.08p per #1 of advertising revenue, compared to

32p for TV and 71p for radio.



He added: ’The NRS in its current form no longer serves newspaper

needs.



Print media has changed over the past 40 years, but the basic readership

measure is unaltered.’



Hulk’s comments were welcomed by agencies who saw it as a huge step

forward for the NPA, which had previously refrained from joining in the

criticisms of NRS made by other groups.



Peter Bowman, the research director at Mediapolis, said: ’It is quite

radical for newspapers to talk like that. It comes out of the

realisation that, in a fragmenting world, newspapers should be a mass

medium.’



Lynne Robinson, the head of research at the IPA, said: ’I found Bob

Hulk’s speech incredibly encouraging because we do want open minds.’



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