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Minutes of a tele-conference meeting of the Executive Board held 10am, London time, 27 August 2014.

                                             INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF AUDIT BUREAUX OF CIRCULATIONS

Minutes of a tele-conference meeting of the Executive Board held 10am, London time, 27 August 2014.

Present :
Mr Jerry Wright – Chairman – in the Chair
Mr Hormuzd Masani – Treasurer
Ms Iwona Szczesna
Mr George Bohlander
Mr Pedro Silva
Mr Magnus Paulsson

Apologies :
Mr Paul Dovas
Mr Manuel Sala

1. MINUTES: The minutes of the Executive Board held on 21 July 2014 having been circulated, were taken as read, and confirmed.

Chairman requested the Secretaries to check if the report ‘Newspapers and Internet’ had been posted on the website.


2.1 IFABC Workplan 2010-2012

2.1.1 Role of IFABC/Industry Advocacy

Promote the growth of bureaux in new geographies – in the absence of Mr Manuel Sala there was no report. Chairman and the Secretaries said that they have had no further correspondence with the interested parties.

2.1.2 Knowledge Sharing/Business Development

a. Central knowledge store – Ms Iwona Szczesna reported that she had circulated a proposal “Development of a Press Circulation Database System for IFABC” prepared by SilverCubes.c. Poland. She said that the system would be designed to provide better control on gathering of annual circulation data from Members. It would make it easier for members to submit the data. The system would also allow easier access to current/archived data, and to do search/filtering and analyzing data. It would send members a notification for missing or required data. She added that all the technical details was in the report. It would handle print/digital/different categories and worked two ways. The data could be imported using a template. She said that Poland used the same system. There will be a question and answer section and probably a manual for members to use.

There was a base price of € 8.5K and a monthly e-support service of € 95 (covered 5 hours). The costing did not cover hosting of the system which was estimated at € 100 per month. The system was completely independent of the vendor and IFABC could appoint any 3rd party to manage the process.

She tabled 3 quotations and said that the most reasonable quote was from Silver Cube. Chairman asked whether she had discussed with Mr Paul Dovas as it maybe difficult to post the system to the IFABC website. He asked whether it would be possible for the system to report title, circulation – report all the different platforms – print, digital, website – multiplatform total brand reach. Ms Iwona Szczesna said that it would be possible but there could be additional cost. Chairman said that there was a one off cost with a recurring annual cost of € 2,400. He said it was yet to be known whether the system could be integrated with the main website. He requested Ms Iwona Szczesna to check with Mr Paul Dovas. Mr Magnus Paulsson asked whether he could export data from his system to this system. Chairman requested all members to check the details of the system with their technical people and to submit questions they may have directly to Ms Szczesna by 4 September 2014. A decision will be made at the next meeting and if agreed it would be tabled at the GA in Rio.

Treasurer reported that a budgetary provision of € 10K for new initiatives has been provided in the budget and this cost could be included under that item.

b. Improve internal communications – Website – in the absence of Mr Paul Dovas and Mr Manuel Sala there was no report.

2.1.2 Digital Standards and Measurement

a. ‘Hybrid’ Online Audience Measurement – Mr George Bohlander reported that he had nothing to report.

b. Digital Editions and Publications – Mr George Bohlander said that Mr Glenn Hansen was planning a meeting of the Committee in early September.

2.1.3 Governance and Finance

a. Finance – Treasurer said that he had 3 things to report:
- Annual dues – There was been no response from SPAC despite 3 reminders. The Secretaries were liaising with Mr Glenn Hansen to find out the current situation with SPAC. He added that if SPAC had not settled their dues a decision could be made at the GA.
- Internet Banking facilities – Banking documents were being signed and would be submitted to the HSBC in Singapore to recognize Mr Jerry Wright as an authorized signatory in place of Mr Eusebio Serrano.
- Budget 2015 – The proposal which was submitted by Ms Iwona Szczesna if adopted would change the budget as there would be a requirement for € 2.400 per annum. He added that the IFABC was incurring a 50% deficit every alternate year. This situation cannot go on for long. It was important to consider alternatives in order to sustain IFABC over a long period of time. One way was for IFABC to stop subsidizing General Assemblies starting from 2016; which would mean that host countries must manage the cost totally themselves. He added that it was important that members were advised of the sustainability of the IFABC in the long run at the GA.

Chairman said that currently there were sufficient funds for the next few years but IFABC will need to consider looking at different alternatives for the medium term.

3. IFABC GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2014 – Mr Pedro Silva said that he was working with the Committee on the Agenda. The advertiser’s perspective, he hoped, would be delivered by WFA.

He proposed that Brazil will present two topics in the morning of Thursday:
- “Channel management to reduce costs and increase penetration” and
- “Technological tools and innovation to reduce costs and increase productivity”

He added that both subjects were print focused. It would be a five minute presentation each followed by a Q&A session.

This will be followed by an item about the IVC Tag and possible uses across IFABC – joint development and cost sharing. He added that Mr Richard Foan was working on some opportunities which could fit in the same slot, such as brand safety.

Chairman said that it will be discussed by the Committee and Members would be advised of the final GA agenda.

Mr Pedro Silva said that to-date registrations had been received from Poland, India, UK, Argentina and Romania. BPA had declined the invitation. He said that he was considering contacting members personally. Discussion took place and Chairman requested the following to assist:
Europe – Mr Magnus Paulsson
Iberoamerica – Mr Manuel Sala
Asia Pacific – Mr Paul Dovas

Chairman said that he would speak to the USA AAM.

4. NEXT MEETING – 22 September 2014


5.1 National Readership Survey (NRS), UK– Chairman reported that the UK national newspaper group has given notice to the NRS so that they have the option to pull out of the survey at the end of 2015. They will issue a brief in October to the vendors on total brand audience measurement which will include engagement and reach/scale. Other than NRS, IPSOS, PwC, comScore, GSK, Kantar might be interested in submitting proposals. There could be implications for the ABC and existing internet measurement operations. He added that there was still some disagreement about whether this move was designed just to shake up the NRS or to definitely find a new partner. A decision would be made by the newspaper group end 2014 and the new research model will be implemented from 2016. He said that although newspapers had moved beyond print in their thinking, the NRS was not showing sufficient signs of taking notice of the initiatives. NRS was still very conservative in their approach to research. Mr George Bohlander wanted to know whether they will be competing with the ABC under the new model. Chairman said that a likely outcome was some form of hybrid system - census data at a platform level and a brand level survey with a fusion mechanism – where ABC would be in a good position to provide industry-standard census data. He said that he had informed the NRS that ABC would be happy to do a joint proposal. He felt that they ABC would not be in competition but would be playing a complementary role. The vendors were not up against ABC as ABC was part of the solution. The media buyers were suspicious of the vendors but were comfortable with ABC data. It would be more credible if both data were provided side by side. Mr Pedro Silva asked what covered census data. Chairman said that it covered circulation/digital editions/digital publications/website analytics and social media. ABC was providing census data for newspapers across all platforms. Mr Pedro Silva said that in Brazil a similar conversation was happening on census data, circulation/website across all platforms – print, digital publications, website and social media


Mr Magnus Paulsson said that Denmark which only reported print had closed down as the biggest dailies withdrew. In Holland, Mr George Bohlander said it was getting difficult as print had lost more than 60% of their ad revenue. He said that there has been a sort of a merger of JICs to work closely together in Holland to manage costs. There was some conversation to merge the NRS with HOI in some form. The overall media industry was interested in data related to listening, viewing and reading. A decision would be made next month to see the direction for 2015.
Mr Pedro Silva said that in Brazil IPSOS was conducting readership while ABC did circulation. Newspapers were looking for another currency. The newspapers wanted to reposition themselves completely while trying not to compete directly with TV or digital. They believed that circulation data alone was not sufficient. They wanted a total audience measurement. So they were looking a systems from UK and Australia. In Australia the study called EMMA was led by the newspapers and run by IPSOS. It merged the readership data (IPSOS) with internet data (Nielsen). They were also looking at other models. They had identified that the Economist had done a total audience study. It was audited by PwC. Chairman said that PwC was doing total audience on an international level. The building blocks were the same and newspapers were waking up to the new reality. Mr Pedro Silva continued and said that newspapers were revisiting their sales force as they were seen as not ready to face the new sophisticated advertisers. Training sessions were being conducted. The newspapers groups were also trying to sell through a combined inventory.
Chairman said that in UK, a new automated trading system for newspapers (PATS) across platforms was in the offing to make trading with the sector easier. The industry was looking for a new currency to plug into this system as the current model was not helping them to sell digital very well.


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