Monthly Sales Figures Move Leaves UK Magazines Cold

07 December 2004

The National Magazine Company's trailblazing sales figures initiative has failed to ignite the enthusiasm of competitor publishers.

NatMag UK, a unit of America's Hearst Corporation, which has sixteen monthly and weekly titles in its stable including Cosmpolitan and Esquire, announced last week its intention to publish monthly sales figures based on half-yearly averages going back to February 2003. [WAMN: 01-Dec-2004].

However, the British Periodical Publishers Association says it will not be following suit and will inform the Audit Bureau of Circulations to that effect at their next meeting.

Says Conde Nast managing director Nicholas Coleridge, wearing his PPA chairman's hat: "Magazines already report more information based in general on fewer numbers of issues than newspapers. Submitting ourselves to issue by issue ABC auditing would pile on audit and administration costs."

Media buyers, who warmly embraced NatMag's move, will be crestfallen albeit unsurprised at the PPA's icy response.

NatMag's managing director Duncan Edwards, however, made it clear he is not proposing to provide audited circulation data every month, but retrospective figures to "see how well received and useful the data proves to be".

Adds Edwards: "If the test is a success, however, we will certainly look to release monthly data every six months retrospectively."

Data sourced from Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff