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Minutes of a tele-conference meeting held 10am (London time), 15 April 2013

                                     INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF AUDIT BUREAUX OF CIRCULATIONS
                                     Minutes of a tele-conference meeting held 10am (London time), 15 April 2013

Presen  :              Mr Jerry Wright – President – in the Chair
                               Mr Hormuzd Masani – Treasurer
                               Ms Iwona Szczesna
                               Mr Pedro Silva
                               Mr Magnus Paulsson
                               Mr Eusebio Serrano
                               Mr Paul Dovas
                               Mr George Bohlander

In Attendance : Mr J Matthews representing
                               Macomm Management Services Sdn Bhd
                               Secretaries to the Federation

1. MINUTES: The minutes of the tele-conference meeting held 25 March 2013 having been circulated, were taken as read, and confirmed.

2. MATTERS ARISING:
2.1 IFABC Workplan 2010-2012

2.1.1 Role of IFABC/Industry Advocacy

a. IFABC Name Change discussion – Chairman said that the Secretaries had circulated the replies from 15 Members. There was no consensus. Ms Iwona Szczesna said that IFABC should continue to gather opinions from the Members who had not responded. She suggested that even the comments from the Executive Board should be included in the final report before a decision was taken.

b. Promote the growth of bureau in new geographies – there was no news to report but Mr Serrano had arranged a meeting of the group.

c. Not-for profit principle – Ms Iwona Szczesna said that it was agreed at the previous meeting that to raise the matter at the IFABC Europe meeting and then re-circulate the resolution again to Members for a vote. In response to a question from Mr Bohlander, Chairman said that the constitution provided that there was a time period for Members to respond in respect of a resolution submitted by the Executive Board to the Full Members.

d. External PR – Budget and plans – Chairman said that he had circulated the budget and plans at the previous meeting. He sought Members opinion on the matter. He added that a white paper on digital had been prepared and would be available for release to the media soon; after this, it could be placed on theIFABC website. Work on PR was on going. Mr Pedro Silva said that he thought it was in the right direction. The reduction of fees vs. 2012 reflected that it was going to be more of a maintenance job. Ms Iwona Szczesna referred to the update of database and sought an answer. Chairman said that it was to release a report on the updated reports on national and regional newspapers, once the 2012 data was loaded. It was also an opportunity to talk about the database and communicate it externally. She then referred to the cost on announcement of new Members. Chairman said that it could be an announcement of a new Member joining IFABC such as ABC Croatia; an opportunity to talk about the significance of joining IFABC; the need for independent verification ofmedia and the objective of setting up ABCs in countries where none exist. Ms Iwona Szczesna asked about the annual fee of £3540 for general services, account management, press office functions etc. Chairman said that it was a retainer fee for the year working out to roughly £300 per month. The scope of activity would be to speak to media on general issues and sometime on specific issues. It was to keep people on the account, preparing and addressing enquiries. He said that he would speak to Eulogy and see if there was scope to further negotiate the retainer, though he thought it would be quite limited. He would request them to produce a work-sheet reconciliation each month.

2.1.2 Knowledge sharing/Business Development
a. Central knowledge store – Ms Iwona Szczesna said that there was nothing to report. Chairman asked whether Members have been requested to provide their 2012 data for national newspapers.

Ms IwonaSzczesna said that she had not because Members may need more time to have the 2012 data. She added that she would do research at the IFABC Europe meeting and if the timing was okay she would then request Members to submit the data.

b. Improve internal communications –Website –Mr Paul Dovas reported that there has been an update on the news page where categories have been created so that news could be classified such as dealing with print, digital etc. A section for uploading the newsletters was created. A lot of manual work was needed to classify the articles to decide where it will go.

2.1.3 Digital Standards and Measurement
a. ‘Hybrid’ Online Audience Measurement – Mr George Bohlander reported that a tele-conversation of the committee had taken place today. Romania had joined in as they were very interested in the subject. The committee was preparing a presentation for IFABC Europe meeting. The dynamics are different in each country. Media agencies were not keen on hybrid systems. Therefore the committee was trying to focus more with advertisers. The objective was to achieve process validation. Mr Paul Dovas concurred that it was a difficult project.

Chairman said that it had been reported that the committee was approaching other bodies like EACA for their opinions. Mr Bohlander said that EACA had advised that they will forward the questionnaire to their members and would pass the replies to the committee. WFA was interested but the topic was not key to them. Mr Pedro Silva said that he would be having an exploratory meeting with the CEO of Medialink to see how to move the project forward. Mr Richard Foan would follow up after that.

Mr Eusebio Serrano said that in Spain, Nielsen had agreed to extend their services till the end of September. Meanwhile OJD Interactive was trying to facilitate the clients moving to another system to get the same measurement (Omniture, AT Internet, Weborama, Digital Analytics etc). Related to the Hybrid system there was consensus that online agencies wanted a unique audience currency provided by comScore, who won the bid tender.

There was a panel of 30,000 panelists – have their profile, social behavior etc. The panel data would be audited by a professional body (AIMC, which is the organization in charge of providing Readership Survey). The data would be merged with the census data coming from another source (Direct systems of comScore) – OJD being the independent auditor. OJD had another business plan – client to be audited monthly with analytical tool.

b. Digital Editions and Publications – Mr George Bohlander reported that Mr Glenn Hansen was drawing up a proposal document taking into consideration the US and Australian rules. Thereafter the Committee Members will include their rules. A meeting would then be held on 28 May 2013 to discuss the matter.

c. ABC of 2015 – Executive Board members to table their thoughts on the results of the IFABC survey and consider the Workplan for 2013-2014 – Chairman said that the Secretaries had circulated the whole survey results to the Executive Board Members. He asked whether there were any points for consideration for the 2013-2014 Workplan. Ms Iwona Szczesna felt that some Members had highlighted the following points:

- Attendance – although the GA was successful a number of main IFABC Members were not present. There was a need to activate these Members to attend the GA
- New business models – How to achieve it and show how it is successful and the results
- Exchange of information –Members wanted to be informed about of new audit rules, the revised structure of Members bureau, and what was changing day by day etc
- Members felt that at the last GA the external speakers had provided insights. There was therefore a need to keep in touch with external speakers from the advertisers/agencies side.

She was surprised that a few Members thought that the study on the Future of ABC was not useful. She hoped that IFABC would continue with the task.

Mr George Bohlander said that he had responded via email and felt that the last GA was a great conference and that IFABC should continue with the approach. He suggested the following:
- Communicate more with Members to get them more involved
- At the GA in Brazil – to concentrate on having a conference and to minimize the IFABC matters. He suggested to set up a Conference committee who will be responsible for the content:

a. Invite more external speakers (a combination of advertisers/agencies/publishers and what they expected from ABC
b. External speakers with experiences in actual digital issues
c. Have a good balance between digital and print (= still core business)
d. More presentations from the Members. Input from regional groups

- Special attention to B2B media. This was often the basis of ABC and also the group where ABCs lost titles/interest/money. New initiatives from ABC UK (Audience report) and BPA (brand report) were interesting developments
- Convince the man countries to be involved and to do presentations (USA, Germany, France etc). It was good that bureaux from UK, Brazil and Australia were willing to spend time and knowledge to help Members
- IFABC could offer Members IFABC instruments or a paid advisory service etc.

Mr Magnus Paulsson said that almost every local ABC is facing pressure on costs etc. from existing clients. Print is declining in most countries and very few are making up for the revenue from digital products. IFABC should focus on helping local ABC’s in adapting to the new media landscape. What is the role for the ABC in the future? What is the future business model for the local ABC? We should learn by sharing experiences from successful projects that local ABCs have done. He said that he would think that this would be beneficial for all Members.

Chairman hoped that the others would also provide their thoughts.

He would be making a presentation at the IFABC Europe meeting in May.
d. Event Audits – Mr Paul Dovas said that he was still working on it.

2.1.4 Governance and Finance

a. Finance – Treasurer reported on the following matters:

1. Annual audited statement of accounts of IFABC for the year ended 31st December 2012 The annual audited statement of accounts of IFABC for the year ended 31st December 2012 was circulated to all Executive Board Members vide email dated 28th March 2013 and approved by Executive Board members by circulation.

The Executive Board unanimously passed the following resolution:

RESOLVED THAT the Executive Board unanimously adopts the annual audited accounts of IFABC for the year ended 31st December 2012 duly audited by MGI-N Rajan Associates, Singapore.”

The audited accounts may be placed before the members of IFABC for their adoption.

2. Appointment of auditors for the year 2013:
Treasurer mentioned that the Executive Board may consider re-appointing MGI-N Rajan Associates, Singapore as auditors of IFABC for the calendar year 2013 (year ending 31st December 2013) at mutually agreed audit fees.

The Executive Board unanimously passed the following resolution:

RESOLVED THAT MGI-N Rajan Associates, Certified Public Accountants, at 10-12, Sim Lin Tower, 10 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208 787 be re-appointed as auditors of IFABC for the calendar year 2013 (1st January 2013 to 31st December 2013) at an audit fee which is mutually agreed upon.”

Annual Membership fees for 2013 – 7 Members viz Argentina, Finland, Italy (ADS), Korea, Mexico, SPAC and B&H had not paid their annual membership fees for 2013 as of date. A reminder had been sent out on 5 April. The new Member ABC Hrvatska had also been invoiced. Treasurer requested Mr Eusebio Serrano and Mr Pedro Silva to use their good offices for 2013 membership fees with respect to Argentina and Mexico.

3. Invoices for approval
- The following were approved for payment:
- Eulogy – £ 390-00 – being fees for the rebrand announcement;
- Eulogy - £ 560-00 – being fees for 2015 white paper news release + 1 x thought leadership;
(copy of invoices awaited)
- MGI N Raajan Associates, Singapore – Invoice 0125 for S$1,150-25 being professional fees for the audit of the accounts of the IFABC for the year ended 31 December 2012 and related expenses; and
- RR Consultants Pte Ltd., Singapore – Invoice 0133 for S$210-00 towards taxation services for the year ended 31 December 2012 and related expenses

4. Balance in the IFABC Account – HSBC Bank in Singapore - € 69,005-23

5. CAC USA – Treasurer said that CAC in an email to the Secretaries had informed them that “Certified Audit of Circulations (CAC) has merged with the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM – formerly ABC USA). As such we believe the two organizations should be charged for their dues as one. I have been informed that AAM has already paid their dues.”

Discussion ensued and it was agreed to write to CAC to confirm the understanding that CAC was no more a Full Member of the IFABC.

b. Membership – The Secretaries said that ABC Hrvatska has been admitted as a Full Member of IFABC. They added that the Treasurer had invoiced them for their 2013 membership dues.

3. NEXT MEETING – The Executive Board meeting in May would be held 11.00am (Vienna time) -15 May, to coincide with IFABC Europe meeting. Mr George Bohlander will speak to ABC Austria to make the necessary tele-conference arrangements.

The Executive Board meeting in June will be held 10.00am (London time) – 17 June.

Chairman said that there was a request from the Secretaries to postpone the July – 15, meeting as they would not be able to participate. It was agreed to move the meeting to 10am (London time) – 22 July 2013.

4. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

4.1 Market Research Society, UK and Fair Data – Chairman said that he had forwarded the document on Fair Data as they had an arrangement with the Market Research Society to audit compliance with their new principles concerning proper use of respondent data by agencies and companies . He said that it was another business opportunity for ABC.
4.2 IFABC Europe meeting – Mr George Bohlander reported that the committee members had confirmed their attendance. A reminder was being done to encourage the rest to attend. The Agenda was almost finalized. There will be 3 external speakers. UK and Netherlands were doing presentation on the subject of digital. As there was a need for one more presentation, Spain volunteered to present also. Germany will present a country presentation.

 

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