The audit, which will be conducted by Circulation Verification Council (CVC), will measure 70 Hispanic community newspapers across the United States.
The Ethnic Print Media Group, which represents a network of 250 Hispanic community newspapers nationwide, facilitates multi-market buys for national advertisers. According to Gemstone/EPMG vice president Trevor Hansen, advertisers had long been asking for some hard numbers to associate with these newspapers.
"One thing that stood out on most clients' 'I wish' lists was their desire to see Hispanic papers get audited," he said.
Hansen says the EPMG chose the CVC because of its experience with auditing community and niche publications.
Though the announcement of this audit comes soon after a circulation scandal rocked the New York-based Hoy, Hansen called it "great timing."
"We had this in place [before the scandal broke,]" he said. "It proves that we are responsible, to Madison Avenue standards. We want to solidify the industry and raise the bar."
Along with audits, the EPMG is also conducting individual publication readership profiles and an in-depth study of Hispanic newspaper readers, including demographic information and buying patterns. The audit results will be completed by January 2005 and preliminary readership results will be ready for distribution this fall.
According to Hansen, $143.7 million dollars were spent in Hispanic print last year.