Verified Audit CirculationViewPoint
Volume 3 | Number 11 | November 2007


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This Month's Features:
Verified Would Like to Welcome...
David Horowitz Cautions Advertisers to Beware Unaudited Publications
"Do Not Track" Registry for Online Activity
Events Calendar
Cumulative Media Drive Purchase Intent
Verified Conducts Survey of Media Planners/Buyers


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Verified Would Like to Welcome...

La Raza del NoroesteLa Raza del Noroeste
Daily Herald Company
Everette, WA

La Raza del Noroeste is a Spanish publication which is part of the Daily Herald newspaper division of the Washington Post Company. It is a free publication distributed weekly on Fridays from Whatcom County to North Pierce County in Washington state. La Raza del Noroeste newspaper offers immigration information, community awareness, an events calendar, sports, and local feature stories.

 

National Gay Newspaper GuildNational Gay Newspaper Guild
Organized in 1984 by Rivendell Media, the National Gay Newspaper Guild (NGNG) and its 12 member publications provides advertisers with easy placement in publications across the country.

Major metropolitan areas covered include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.


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Consumer Advocate David Horowitz Cautions
Advertisers to Beware Unaudited Publications

David HorowitzIn a recent article, leading consumer advocate David Horowitz answered a question from a disgruntled business owner who had run an ad in a niche publication. The advertiser complained to Horowitz that the ad he had run didn't get him a single response.

In his reply, Horowitz cautioned anyone purchasing ad space about this subject and said, "Circulation numbers should be verified." Horowitz went on to say that if the business owner found out the publication had misrepresented their circulation figures, he may have grounds for corrective action.

Audited publications can protect themselves by making sure that the figures presented in sales materials (media kits, brochures, PowerPoint presentations, etc.) show accurate circulation figures. The best way to do this is to use your audit report as a source for your circulation claims. Independent, third-party verification can be very persuasive when presented properly.

It's important to educate advertisers about the difference between audited and non-audited circulation figures. As David Horowitz said, the publication "...should be able to confirm subscription information and who audits or verifies it."

Click here to see the entire "Ask David Horowitz" article.

If you have any questions regarding circulation verification, please contact Verified at 415-461-6006.


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"Do Not Track" Registry for Online Activity

"Do Not Track"While revenue from website advertising has been rising steadily for publishers over the past few years, there may be roadblocks ahead. Nine consumer privacy advocacy groups—including the Center for Democracy and Technology, Consumer Federation of America, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation—want to build a version of the "Do Not Call" registry for Internet users. The "Do Not Track" list would prevent advertisers from tracking consumer online activity.

FTCOn November 1st and 2nd, representatives from both sides of the issue gathered at the Federal Trade Commission's public meeting on the increasing use of tracking technology for online ads. Executives from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and other Internet companies were present as well as the privacy proponents.

The coalition of privacy groups proposed that online users be notified when their online activity is tracked for advertising purposes. They argue that privacy policies should not be hidden in the small print and that companies should provide easier ways to opt out.

Ad industry representatives say that tracking online activity allows advertisers to target users so that they see ads for products they are interested in, rather than random ads.

Dan Jaffe, Executive Vice President/Government Relations for the Association of National Advertisers, calls the movement "a slogan rather than a well-thought-out concept." Said Jaffe, "Those with any experience will tell you that [following these recommendations] means an inefficient, more expensive, and less useful marketplace for the consumer."

Advocacy groups counter that companies such as DoubleClick collect vast amounts of data on web users that amounts to a potential privacy threat. The group cautions that the data collection is open to hackers, identity theft, and other security breaches. It also opens up the possibility for government interference or abuse.

AOLOn October 31st, AOL announced that it will be launching a consumer-awareness campaign to give customers more information about targeted advertising. The campaign will include millions of clickable banner ads on the practice and the opportunity for consumers to opt out of web tracking.

AOL is employing an expanded opt-out technology. AOL chief privacy officer Jules Polonetsky said that the technology amounts to a "de facto do not track list." He added, "We want to make the opt-out process as simple and transparent as possible."

Does the average Internet user understand how targeted advertising works? Although the FTC doesn't regulate internet privacy practices, an 11-member group called the Network Advertising Initiative said the industry polices itself. People can opt out by downloading a simple piece of data called a "cookie." Privacy groups say self-regulation has not been sufficient.

Implementation of the "Do Not Track" systems would involve substantial challenges, according to Richard Smith, a Boston-based Internet consultant and privacy advocate. "It would require either a change to web browsers or an add-on to make it all work," he said. Companies who rely on ad revenue are going to be resistant and unlikely to cooperate.

Consumers generally see tracking in relation to online shopping as beneficial if they know what information is collected, how it will be used, and have some control over it; however, consumers react negatively when they either don't know they are being tracked or don't consent to it.

A person's online activity can leave a detailed digital trail. When the information is combined, it can reveal a lot about an individual's life. Along with information intentionally revealed through purchases and registration on websites, transactional data (a.k.a., "clickstream data," "data trail,"or "mouse droppings") enables websites to construct detailed profiles of users' activities. Someone's personal data can also be bought and sold without a user knowing it.

The "Do Not Call" registry was enthusiastically embraced by consumers in 2003. Today 145 million people have registered. Unlike the "Do Not Call," the "Do Not Track" has not come from a groundswell of consumer complaints, but from privacy advocacy groups.

Ken Magill, founding editor of iMarketing News, blasted the new registry and called it the "mother of all cockamamie ideas" in a November 13, 2007 article in Direct. He wrote, "When you visit a website...you're on their property. Telling them they can't monitor you on property they own is akin to telling a retailer to shut the store cameras off."

Whether or not consumers will embrace the "Do Not Track" registry is still unknown. Publishers will have to wait to see what the future holds for online advertising. Will advertising dollars continue to migrate online if advertisers can't gather the information they want or will they look back to tradition media?


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Events Calendar

CRMA Publisher's Roundtable
January 11–13, 2008
Casa Magna Marriott Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
www.crma.org

Alliance of Area Business Publications Winter Conference 2008
January 25–27, 2008
Key Largo Marriott Bay Resort, Key Largo, FL
www.bizpubs.org

New England Press Association 58th Annual Convention & Trade Show
February 8–9, 2008
Copley Square Marriott, Boston, MA
www.nepa.org

Ohio Newspaper Association Convention
February 13–15, 2008
Columbus Hilton at Easton Town Center, Columbus, OH
www.ohionews.org

Suburban Newspapers of America Spring Publishers' Conference
February 19–22, 2008
Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
www.suburban-news.org

Newspaper Association of America Marketing Conference
February 24–27, 2008
Orlando World Center Marriott Resort and Convention Center, Orlando, FL
www.naa.org

Magazines 24/7
February 27, 2008
New World Stages, New York, NY
www.magazine.org

If you have an event that you would like to announce, please send your information to e-newsletter@verifiedaudit.com.


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Cumulative Media Drive Purchase Intent

Newspapers Use a Billion Dollars Worth of PostageA new guide from Magazine Publishers of America announced by Ellen Oppenheim, Executive Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer, MPA, aggregates new findings from marketing research and consulting companies Marketing Evolution and Dynamic Logic, along with the latest research from other third-party sources, to offer a comprehensive view of the role of media in influencing consumer purchase decisions and online behavior.

The report analyzes cross-media accountability data from 32 studies to determine each medium's effectiveness through the purchase funnel. The overall findings indicate that:

  • Media synergy is important. Three media were better than two, and two media were better than one in generating results
  • The combination of TV and magazines provided significantly more lift than did TV plus online
  • TV and magazines produced the greatest lifts in ad awareness, with each medium contributing significantly more impact than online
  • Magazines were by far the most effective in increasing purchase intent, with a significantly greater point increase compared to the next highest ranking medium in both studies
  • Magazines were the most consistent performer in producing positive results in the most campaigns at all stages of the purchase funnel

Index of Cumulative Effects of Different Media Combinations
Pre/Post Point Change (Index Versus TV Alone)

  Aided Brand Awareness Advertising Awareness Message Association Brand Favorability Purchase Intent

TV Only

100 100 100 100 100

TV + Online

148 152 367 170 127
TV + Magazines 190 200 1,266 425 251
TV + Magazines + Online 239 239 1,500 495 278
Results, an aggregate of 15 studies, reflect the impact of different media combinations expressed as an index with TV as the base medium.
Source: Dynamic Logic/Millward Brown CrossMedia Research, 2007

Presented in MPA's accountability guide, Marketing Evolution's analysis of nine client-commissioned studies examines, among other things, how magazine ads contributed to building web traffic. Specifically, the study compares the number of online visits among consumers who saw magazine ads to those of consumers who read different issues of the same magazines without any exposure to the ads.

Key findings include:

  • Magazine ads had a major impact on building web traffic, with a lift of more than 40% over the control group, on average
  • Magazine ads generated web traffic at each stage of the purchase funnel, especially purchase intent
  • Including a URL address in magazine ads significantly increased web visits. When the URL was included, the percent change in visits tripled
  • For the Automotive category in particular, magazine ads had significant impact in driving traffic to the auto brands' websitesówith an average increase of seven points, representing an 85% lift, over the control group

"Quantifying the significant impact print magazine ads have on driving on web usage confirms multiple surveys that document the vital role magazines can play in this digital age," said Ms. Oppenheim. "The study reinforces that marketers looking to boost their website traffic or prompt searches on their products would benefit from leveraging magazines as part of their media plans."

Additional web-related findings cited in the accountability guide include:

  • Offline media perform well in driving web traffic and search, often better than online media
  • Each medium influences online behavior differently and plays a distinctive role
  • "Qualified" search offers quite different and informative results than "total" search results
  • When looking at the role individual media play in driving web results, magazines most consistently drive web traffic and search

Ms. Oppenheim noted, "The latest findings from Dynamic Logic echo the range of conclusions from other independent researchers that magazines play a prominent role in influencing consumers' buying decisions, especially in the area of purchase intent... "

The Executive summary in the report concludes that the third-party findings, gathered in Accountability II: How Media Drive Results and Impact Online Success, offer insights on purchase funnel dynamics and consumer online behavior that can have profound ramifications for advertisers looking to maximize their return on marketing investment.

And, Bob Liodice, President, Association of National Advertisers, said in September 2007, "In my mind, the primary objective of 'marketing accountability' is to improve the productivity of the entire marketing supply chain to better discern what works and what doesn't work so that we can build brand equity, drive short-term business results, enhance long-term performance potential, streamline and increase the productivity of the marketing process, (and) improve the marketing decision-making process across all platforms."

© 2007 MediaPost Communications.


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Verified Conducts Survey of Media Planners/Buyers

  • What influences media planners to choose one publication over the other?
  • What are the key components that are essential in their evaluation?
  • How would they like to receive the circulation data to better assist them in the decision-making process?

These are just a few of the questions Verified recently asked more than 1,200 media planners and buyers in our online survey. Verified's goal was twofold—to find out how to best provide information to media planners to help them in their planning decisions and to provide our publishing clients with the information and strategies to reach these important decision-makers.

The results provided a wealth of information. For example, 79.2% of respondents said that they preferred receiving net circulation figures instead of gross figures when making their planning and buying decisions in free publications.

Results of the survey will be published in a future edition of ViewPoint and available as a white paper on our website.



Please send comments and story ideas to e-newsletter@verifiedaudit.com or contact us at:

Verified Audit Circulation
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 295
Larkspur, CA 94939-1758
415.461.6006
415.461.6007 fax

© 2007 Verified Audit Circulation.