ABC Adopts 'Consolidated' Figure

Business-to-business (B-to-B) publications will now be allowed to report circulation, multiple reader "pass along," online activity, and other media as a single number, the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) announced Tuesday. Data collection for the test of the new metric--called "Total Audience Reach"--was completed in June, and a prototype form is now available on the ABC Web site.

ABC says this new metric will aggregate the metrics of all the different platforms publishers are now responsible for--focusing, of course, on the big areas: online and print. Subscription for this metric is purely voluntary, and it's unclear how many business publications will find value in it. Still, the rollout follows other recent service introductions that aim to make ABC numbers transparent, including "Rapid Report," which publishes magazine circulation numbers within about a week of sale.

Meanwhile, B-to-B publications have also been pushing projects to increase transparency and accountability in the way ad deals are made--including simpler reporting of publication metrics. In March, for example, American Business Media (ABM), an association of business-to-business media companies, introduced a standard advertising RFP form to clarify advertising goals and measurement methods for executives on both sides of media sales.



In addition to audit and rate information, the new RFP covers "target market industries," "how the client and agency will measure the success of the campaign," and "recommended overall media strategy" as well as its "rationale," campaign close and open dates, editorial calendar, ad format and CPM targets, media research, and competing publications.

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