Verified Audit CirculationViewPoint
Volume 4 | Number 10 | October 2008


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This Month's Features:
Verified Would Like to Welcome...
Paper Theft is Big Business
Results of Report Usefulness Survey
New Auto Spending Down, But Repair and Aftermarket Strong
Events Calendar
A Way to Stay Alive on Weak Ad Days
Tips & Techniques: Accessing Your Audit Reports


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Verified Would Like to Welcome...

Jane and Jane MagazineJane and Jane
DNA Publishing, Inc.
Sacramento, CA

Launched in 2006, Jane and Jane Magazine is the first sophisticated magazine created specifically for lesbian lifestyles.

La PrensaDiezEl Heraldo

La Prensa | Diez | El Heraldo
Organizacion Publicitario, S.A.
San Pedro Sula, Honduras

La Prensa is the largest national newspaper of Honduras containing both national and international news. Diez is a national circulation sports newspaper containing national and international sports news. El Heraldo is the regional newspaper for central, south, and east Honduras.

Long Beach MagazineLong Beach Magazine
Millworks Media, LLC
Long Beach, CA

Long Beach Magazine is a premier lifestyle magazine serving the greater Long Beach area. The artistic format showcases the people, places, and events that define the vibrant city of Long Beach. Long Beach Magazine is published each month with a unique and purposeful theme.


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Paper Theft is Big Business

Paper Theft is Big Businessby Jennifer Armor

In September, California's governor signed into law AB 1778, sponsored by Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco), that prohibits a recycling center from paying cash to anyone who recycles more than $50 worth of newsprint or $100 worth of bottles and cans. Large-volume recyclers must provide a picture I.D. and be paid by check. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2009.

This follows California AB 2612, a bill that makes it a crime to take more than 25 copies of the current issue of a free or complimentary newspaper if the intent is to recycle, sell, barter, prevent others from reading it, or to harm a business competitor. The current law imposes a $250 fine for the first violation, another fine of between $250 and $500 for a second or subsequent violation, jail time up to 10 days, or both fine and imprisonment.

AB 1778 increases the penalties for newspaper theft. According to Ma, "AB 1778 will provide a paper trail for law enforcement to use during investigations by establishing certain requirements."

Despite the threat of fines and prosecution, thieves continue to flout the law, stealing thousands of dollars worth of newspapers every day. With the price of recycled materials continuing to rise, paper theft is extremely lucrative. A full pick-up truck of papers can fetch over $100. According to a recent article in Recycling Today, newsprint gets about $.06 per pound.

"These guys are becoming much more organized and much more prevalent," said Robert Reed, a spokesman for Norcal Waste Systems, Inc., a garbage and recycling company in Northern California. "This has nothing to do with the lone homeless man picking up cans. We're seeing organized fleets of professional poachers with trucks."

Although paper theft is happening throughout the U.S., California is the hotbed for activity. Thieves target free newspapers by following delivery trucks that drop off bundles at businesses and racks early in the morning or late at night. Given the well-known spikes in theft that have accompanied the increase in prices for copper and other scrap metal, newspaper theft will most likely follow.

"Newsprint is a hot grade," said Mark Arzonmanian, editor in chief of Official Board Markets, a publication covering the paper industry. "There is a voracious demand in China and India for recycled paper." By cargo container load, the U.S. exports more waste paper than any other product. "China doesn't have a heck of a lot of trees to make paper with," said Arzoumanian.

But newspaper thieves can't do it alone. As long as they can drop off stolen papers for cash at no-questions-asked recycling centers, the thefts will continue. This is obviously bad for newspapers, but it's also bad for honest recyclers. A good byproduct of the new law is that it subjects dishonest recyclers to a civil fine of up to $5,000. With AB 1778, the industry has another tool against this debilitating one-two punch.


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Results of Report Usefulness Survey

Results of Report Usefullness Surveyby Jennifer Armor

Verified recently surveyed it's clients and associate members to get their feedback on our audit reports' usefulness. We were happy to see so many of you participating and want to thank everyone for taking the time to complete the survey.

You gave us great insights and offered some wonderful suggestions. As we continue to develop our products for use in the changing media landscape, we will take your opinions and recommendations into account.

Some of the most significant findings for newspaper reports were:

  • Logo/contact information (70%) and publication description (67%) were rated of highest value
  • 32% rated methodology as of lowest value
  • 37% rated one date press run (not average press run) as of lowest value
  • 60% rated circulation history as high to highest value
  • 89% rated ZIP/Postal Code and/or geographic analysis as high to highest
  • 25% rated the map as of highest value

For magazine reports, some of the most significant findings were:

  • Logo/contact information (42%) and publication description (40%) were rated of highest value
  • 66% rated field or market served as high to highest value
  • 60% valued ZIP/Postal Code and/or geographic analysis of high to highest value
  • 0% valued additions and removals by issue of highest value
  • 85% valued qualified circulation by issue of high to highest value
  • 50% valued subscription source/recency of renewal of high to highest value

When asked if they would use a one-page top line audit report if it were available, 62% of respondents said yes (newspaper) and 55% said yes (magazine). Nineteen percent of newspaper respondents were "Not Sure" and 35% of magazine respondents were not sure if they would use the report.

In addition to qualified circulation figures, ZIP code and/or geographic breakdown were overwhelmingly deemed the most useful pieces of information provided by the audit report. Other useful pieces of information reported as useful were contact information, print total, circulation history, and demographics.

When asked what Verified could do to make the audit reports more user-friendly and effective, you told us:

"Allow them to be more easily accessed online by sales folks when they need it."

"Downloadable circulation in excel format."

"Eliminate additions and removals by issue chart. Media buyers assume we are purging expires and adding new samples and requested subs all the time. They don't need to know per issue, but perhaps per year."

"It would be EXTREMELY helpful if your circulation by zip code was downloadable into Excel format."

"More zip code demographics information, adding breakdown by age."

"In the report, clearly define 'qualified' for the average person. I call it 'picked up.' In our situation, 'qualified' is the same as 'picked up' from our display units."

Again, to all those who participated, thank you. If you haven't weighed in yet, there's still time. Click on the link below to take our survey. If you have questions, please contact Verified at 415-461-6006.

Click Here to Take the Survey Now!


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New Auto Spending Down, But Repair and Aftermarket Strong

by Jennifer Armor

Auto Spending Down...Will Awards Be Down, Too?Automotive advertising is headed for the lowest level in nine years at the same time that money is shifting from traditional media to Internet. This year, auto makers will spend $15 billion on advertising, down 16% from 2007 and the lowest since 1999. According to Michael Nathanson, senior analyst for Bernstien Research, "TV stations and local newspapers will lose the most advertising dollars, followed by broadcast networks."

One possible bright spot for local media is the auto repair business and specialty equipment market. According to the Chicago consultancy Mintel, while car sales may be falling, the market for car service, repair, and upgrades is still strong.

The firm says the median age of cars grew from 8.1 years in 2001 to 9.2 years in 2007. The firm also says the technical sophistication of new cars is limiting the do-it-yourself (DIY) market. "Increasingly, computerized vehicles are making more people turn to professionals for service," says Mark Guarino, senior analyst for Mintel.

"They are buying smaller cars, but at same time, when they buy smaller cars they still want to have the bells and whistles they are used to in SUVs. 'I miss my DVD player, a better stereo, a GPS, Blue-tooth.' The after-market is affected by that," says Guarino.

Many people now shop online when buying new or used cars. Fewer people go online to find a repair shop. New-car owners take their cars to the same dealer they bought it from and old-car owners tend to find one repair shop they trust and keep with it (trial and error and/or referrals).

According to a recent article in Dealer Digest Daily by Randy Johnson, president of Car People Marketing, the gross profit generated by 11 repairs equals the same amount dealers make for the average car sale. Dealers average about $1,600 dollars in gross per car sold. Each repair order generates about $112 in gross labor and $47 in gross parts. In addition, repair shops write about 20 orders a day while sales people see about 3 people.

"Consumers are changing their buying habits. It's making more financial sense for some of them to repair older vehicles instead of purchasing new ones where they would have to worry about expensive monthly car payments and of course the increased gas prices," says David Lapps, president of Maaco Collision & Repair Auto Painting. "When they compare the costs of buying a new car and repairing an old one, they see a big difference."

Another segment remaining strong is auto insurance. As the average age of vehicles continues to rise, the corresponding depreciation in their value can lead policy holders to cut back on non-mandatory collision coverage and/or comprehensive coverage. While the overall category growth has slowed, the battle for market share is becoming more intense.

Insurers compete for the same pool of low-risk drivers. Insurance also has a short purchase cycle (6—12 month periods) and customer churn is about 10+ percent across the industry. Add that to the fact that car insurance is commonly bundled with other insurance (homeowner, motorcycle, etc.), the financial impact grows tremendously. In order to increase customer retention and get new prospects through the door, insurance companies will have to continue to increase their marketing budget.

Over the last two years, leading marketers are now targeting ethnic groups (African-American, Latino) and women. The big-four national brands—Allstate, GEICO, Progressive, State Farm—set the marketing tone for the industry and the smaller competitors follow. According to Hispanic Marketing Weekly, the insurance companies spending most on Hispanic marketing are Allstate and State Farm. Insurance companies sponsor women's events as well. State Farm is the title sponsor of the State Farm Classic and is the official insurance company of the LPGA Tour.



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Events Calendar

American Business Media Top Management Meeting 2008
November 17 – 19, 2008
Chicago, IL
www.americanbusinessmedia.com

AAAA Pitch on Target – Skills for Making Presentations that Clinch the Deal
November 18, 2008
Cincinnati, OH
www.aaaa.org

Interactive Local Media 2008
November 19 – 21, 2008
Santa Clara, CA
www.kelseygroup.com

DMA Circulation Council Holiday Lunch
December 9, 2008
New York City, NY
www.the-dma.org

MPA – Magazine Marketing | Proposals for Today's Integrated Sales
December 11, 2008
New York, NY
www.magazine.org

Blogging Fundamentals: Building a Business Strategy
December 11, 2008
Cambridge, MA
www.forrester.com

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


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A Way to Stay Alive on Weak Ad Days

by Alan D. Mutter

Reflections of a Newsosaur

With desperate times demanding desperate measures, a growing number of newspapers are considering the most desperate measure of all: Skipping print editions on the days of the week when ad sales are the weakest.

It already happended in McPherson, KS; Mesa, AZ; Gilroy, CA, and Cambridge, MN, according to Peter Zollman, who has been tracking the trend at Advanced Interactive Media Group (formerly Classified Intelligence).

Still, I was surprised to get a call recently from someone at a large metropolitan newspaper, who asked if I thought canceling the Monday edition would be a good idea. | read more


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Tips & Techniques: Accessing Your Audit Reports

In addition to printed reports, you can access your Audit Reports and Publisher's Statements online 24/7 from Verified's website. From any computer with an Internet connection, go to www.verifiedaudit.com. Click on On-line Data & Reports and View Circulation Data. Enter the name of your publication, publishing company, city, state, or type of publication (alternative, arts & entertainment, community newspaper, etc.) and click Search.

When you have found the publication you are looking for, click on the publication name. Current Audit Reports and Publisher's Statements issued by Verified will be listed here, as well as a list of all past reports.

Click on the Audit Report or Publisher's Statement you would like to view. You will need your username and password to access the report. Only active clients and associate members have access to reports. Once you've entered the information, a .pdf of the report will download in Acrobat Reader.

To make it more convenient for your sales team when making a presentation, you can add a link from your website directly to your Audit Report. Add the report address as a live link on your site. You can also include the address in your marketing materials to advertisers, especially emails.

We know that anytime access to your Audit Reports and Publisher's Statements is essential, because sales opportunities can pop up. If you have questions, please contact Verified at 415-461-6006.


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

 

2008 Verified Audit Circulation.