AdNews and B&T invited to have websites audited

The publishing industry’s digital watchdog has invited trade titles such as AdNews and B&T to audit their traffic after Campaign Brief followed Mumbrella’s lead and signed up for verification by the Audit Bureaux of Australia.  

The comments from Alexx Cass, who heads up ABA’s digital audits, came after a blog posting from digital agency Amnesia triggered an unprecedented torrent of transparency among the media and marketing industry’s trade titles.

Last week, Amnesia wrote about the online audience of the various magazines and websites.

As well as pointing out AdNews’ progress since it revamped its own site, Amnesia quoted Alexa statistics which put Mumbrella, which is the only ABA-audited, well ahead of other titles.

Following the posting, several of the sites released screenshots of their Google analytics – the first time this has been in the public domain.

Based on those Google analytics, the sites have the following number of monthly unique visitors:

  1. Mumbrella – 91,493
  2. B&T – 71,481
  3. Campaign Brief – 37,003
  4. AdNews – 25,694

And serve the following number of page views:

  • Mumbrella – 412,346
  • Campaign Brief – 260,319
  • B&T – 235,378
  • AdNews – 152,836

However, the unaudited Google analytics are not as robust as the ABA-supported Nielsen Intelligence data, which also splits out overseas and local traffic.

This morning, Campaign Brief owner Michael Lynch revealed in a comment on the posting that he has now signed up his site for audit.

And the ABA’s Cass wrote:

“Good to have Campaign Brief on board, so stay tuned for their audited data at the end of April. If the other publishers decided to be audited it would be easy for us to distribute a free monthly report to the market for just the Trade Press sites.

“That would remove any doubt about comparing AU vs International traffic figures as well as the other discrepancies you inevitably get from comparing non-standardised figures.”

In an earlier comment, Cass wrote: “It’s strange that these other sites decline to be audited.”

Marketing Magazine is another such website. The magazine’s Kate Kendall posted in the debate: “We’re not ( actually “declining” to be audited – it’s definitely something that we’d like to do. We tend to currently deal directly with our partners and clients who understand our “niche audience of marketers”, so they aren’t hounding us for impressions etc. at every turn.”

Mumbrella editor Tim Burrowes writes: Inevitably when we cover a story like this, no matter how hard we try our coverage is going to be in some way partisan, or at least open to that perception. So rather than try and persuade you otherwise, I’d urge you to read the conversation on Amnesia’s blog. The reason that ABA auditing is so important is that everyone can directly compare the same sort of figures on an even playing field.


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