Magazines should be in the business of Customers who Count and NOT Counting CustomersJune 20, 2008
BPA, along with about 10 other association and auditing bodies, including ABC, has ramped up a campaign to combat ad buying in un-audited titles. Called Buy Safe Media, the program targets client-side buyers in b-to-b markets that spend $250,000 or less on advertising.
The program, initiated two years ago by BPA at the request of member publishers, has emerged from a testing and research phase and the 11 associations and auditing bodies have begun to reach out to their constituencies in earnest.
The aforementioned quote is nothing but the intro to an article by Bill Mickey titled BPA and Friends Turn up Heat on Un-Audited Magazines… This so called campaign of Buy Safe Media tries to convince advertisers and ad agencies not to advertise in un-audited magazines (that is almost 6,500 consumer magazines alone out of the 7,000 plus on the market place). Both Bob Sacks and myself were horrified to say the least on how low some folks in our industry are willing to sink in order to make their business flourish. Unknown to them, or so it seems, is with their action they maybe bringing the temple on their competitors and themselves at the same time.
It is needless to say that people who are willing to advertise in a magazine that gives you 52 issues for $10.00 because it is audited, but not in a magazine that will charge you the same price for one issue but is not audited, are not in the business of customers who count, but rather they are in the business of counting customers…customers in most cases who do not count.
What follows is what my friend Bob wrote in his electronic newsletter today including my comments:
BoSacks Speaks Out: BPA-ABC’s Unwise Attack on Magazines
The new pathology detailed below actually disgusts me. There are over 18,000 magazines printed today and of that number 7,000 are newsstand titles. There are approximately 1,000 new titles started each year. This report and the campaign against legitimate magazines listed below is an attack at the heart of the entrepreneurial publishing business. ABC, ABM, BPA, and the Association of National Advertisers have a very minor fraction of the titles published in their bullpen, yet they wish to crush all who stand in their way or choose not join their exclusive clubs.
I am not alone with these feelings. Samir Husni wrote to me in an email last night that:
. . . it is about time for magazines to start looking at customers who count and not just counting customers . . . those folks who publish great magazines like Good and Flaunt do not need an auditor to tell them how many people are receiving their magazine. Their customers, both the advertisers and the readers know the relationship that they enjoy between the reader and the magazine . . . It is a pure case of jealousy and greed to launch such a campaign. When are we going to learn not to attack each other and focus on other media. Advertisers who want to reach that unique upscale audience of V magazine are not interested to see either the ABC audit or the BPA audit . . . When are we going to learn . . . I have no earthly idea . . .
It is unconscionable to attempt to crush the rest of the industry. It is attacks and stupidity like this that will tear down the very industry that they are attempting to prop up with self-serving dogma. Like chastity, auditing is/and should be a choice. A pox on all your houses; but I cannot wish harm on my industry by wishing that ye reap what ye sow.