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time that the National Readership Surveys is outdated and no longer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
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
Lynne Robinson, the head of research at the IPA, said: ’I found Bob
Hulk’s speech incredibly encouraging because we do want open minds.’