Auditor – we need to provide better data but somebody must pay for it

The Australian print industry has today been warned to be realistic about what it can achieve in its reforms of newspaper and magazine data.  

The comments came from Glenn Hansen, CEO of auditor BPA Worldwide, in a speech this afternoon at the AGM of Australia’s Audit Bureau of Circulation. He also warned that audit bodies “stand at the brink” of irrelevance if they don’t keep pace with changing consumer behaviour.

He told the meeting: “I see media audit bodies as being at the brink. The key to our success, our relevance—perhaps even our very existence—lies in providing the media buyer with what they need. We must do so with the caveat that the cost of such is something advertisers must be willing to pay for through pass-on costs in advertising rates.”

His comments come as debate rages within the Australian newspaper and magazine industry over plans from Newspaper Works – the body that represents Australia’s newspaper owners – to create a new readership currency to challenge the existing service provided by Roy Morgan Research. Media agencies have called for sectional readership figures to help them plan more effectively, but newspaper Works has so far not publically committed to delivering that.

Hansen called on media owners to understand the needs of agency planners. He said: “If the media owner came to a true understanding of the daily challenges faced by media buyers and advertisers, they would be compelled to provide relevant data in a standardized format that is provided in an easy-to-use and intuitive, on-line tool.”

He added: I ask the media owners in the audience: Are you providing media buyers what they need to do their job quicker, better, cheaper?

“To the media buyers:  Are you willing to concede that what you want has a price that must be paid?”

“To buyers, I caution–be careful what you wish for–in other words get what you need to have, not what is nice to have.”


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