B&T publisher: ‘AdNews should be more honest with clients and readers’

The publisher of trade publication B&T  has launched a fierce attack on rival AdNews’ decision to resign from the Audit Bureau of Circulation and move to a part paid, part free model.

In a posting on B&T’s website today, publisher David Hovenden accused AdNews as being “about as credible and transparent as Tony Abbott on Work Choices”.  

AdNews yesterday said that it would be switching to the Circulation Audits Board, which unlike the ABC does not count only paid copies. It followed a 10.1% drop in AdNews’ circulation in the previous set of ABC numbers. If it had remained an ABC member, its next circulation numbers would have been put into the public domain tomorrow.

The differences between the relative audiences of the two publications has been a bone of contention for many years because B&T includes copies that go to Australian Marketing Institute members as part of their membership. As a result B&T, owned by Reed Business Information, is already audited by the CAB.

In the attack from Hovenden, he pointed out that AdNews has previously used B&T’s membership of the CAB as a stick to beat it with.

According to a blog posting from Hovenden today:

“For well over 10 years AdNews has trumpeted they are the best because people actually pay for it. Indeed they have openly criticised the CAB audits in the past claiming in previous media kits that CAB circulation includes “unsolicited, unwanted” copies and that “allowance should be made for this”. They have also claimed CAB circulation is “not a measure of whether the package was opened or the magazine looked into”.

“They also say that it is a trend that B2B publications operate most effectively by combining paid and controlled circulation. It sounds more like the GFC has hit their subscriptions hard.

“Their story is about as credible and transparent as Tony Abbott on Work Choices. They need to be little more honest with clients and readers after so many years of heavily criticising the CAB audited titles and their competitors. This is simply not credible.”

In its original posting announcing the switch, AdNews claimed: “Circulation has been boosted to target advertising and marketing decision-makers in FMCG companies and other major advertisers across Australia.”

AdNews owner Yaffa Publishing had not responded to Mumbrella’s invitation to comment at the time of posting.

  • Declaration of interest. This article is written by Tim Burrowes, a former editor of B&T. As most readers would be aware, both AdNews and B&T are commercial competitors to Mumbrella.

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