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Minutes of a tele-conference meeting of the Executive Board held 10am , London time, Monday – 22 July 2013

                                      INTERNATIONAL FEDERATIONAL OF AUDIT BUREUAX OF CIRCULATIONS

Minutes of a tele-conference meeting of the Executive Board held 10am , London time, Monday – 22 July 2013

Present :            
Mr Jerry Wright – President – in the Chair
Mr Hormuzd Masani – Treasurer
Mr George Bohlander
Mr Eusebio Serrano
Mr Paul Dovas
Ms Iwona Szczesna

Apologies :        
Mr Magnus Paulsson
Mr Pedro Silva

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

1. MINUTES: The minutes of the meeting of the Executive Board held 17 June 2013 having been circulated, were taken as read and confirmed.

2. MATTERS ARISING:

2.1 IFABC Workplan

2.1.1 Role of IFABC /Industry Advocacy
a. IFABC Name Change – Chairman said that he was suggesting as a stimulus for debate the name ‘International Federation for the Independent Certification of Media’. The secretaries had not received any other proposals as yet. Mr Eusebio Serrano said that he had spoken to OJD France and they were of the opinion that the IFABC should retain its name. He said that he was advised that they would be writing to him on the matter. Discussion took place and Chairman again requested the Executive Board members to submit their name change proposals by 26 July 2013.

b. Promote the growth of bureaux in new geographies – Mr Eusebio Serrano said that he was continuing to keep up progress in the matter by:
- Iberoamericano – Mr Silva was organizing the sending out of letters and reminders to the relevant parties
- Europe – reminders were being sent; there had been a follow up with Greece. Greece was advised that the formation of a bureau must be on their initiative.

c. Not-for-profit principle –The secretaries reported that the resolution to amend the Constitution was distributed to members on 10 July 2013. Five replies had been received with 4 in favour and 1 against the amendment. Mr Eusebio Serrano said that France was also not in favour. They were of the view that the tripartite structure must also be maintained. With the removal of the requirement of not-for-profit principle, they were concerned that profit motivated CPA’s could enter the fold.

Chairman requested the Secretaries to send a reminder to the Members on this matter.

d. FIPP 2013/I-COM 2014 –Chairman said that he will be attending the FIPP Conference in Rome from 23-25 September. The I-COM conference will be held in April 2014 in Seville.

2.1.2 Knowledge Sharing/Business Development
a. Central knowledge store – Ms Iwona Szczesna reported that she was still waiting for some Executive Board Members to complete their Newspaper data before requesting Members to do so. For the data of magazines, she proposed to do it in September, after the vacation season in Europe.

b. Improve internal communications – Mr Paul Dovas said that they had completed the project whereby the alert now brought more information about a blog post. Ms Iwona Szczesna said that she had posted the current newsletter on the site, but would require to find a place to post the older issues. Mr Dovas said that he would check with the developer.

2.1.3 Digital Standards and Measurement
a. ‘Hybrid’ Online Audience Measurement – Mr George Bohlander said that the committee had met on 5 July. The next meeting was scheduled for September. The committee was preparing a proposal which would be submitted to the Executive Board on 27 October.

Chairman said that Mr Richard Foan would be convening a meeting of the WWW Standards Group in September in London.

b. Digital Editions and Publications – Mr George Bohlander said that the committee would be meeting tomorrow. He added that Mr Glenn Hansen will be tabling a study showing a comparison of digital editions and publications rules between the bureaux of UK, Australia, AAM and BPA divided in paid, non-paid and newspapers. Questions raised at the recent IFABC Europe meeting will also be discussed at the meeting.
c. ABC of 2015 –Chairman said that Members could revert in September if they have any matters they wish to raise. He continued and said that planning and organization for GA 2014 should start at the next meeting.

d. Event Audits – Mr Paul Dovas said that the event audit metrics have been placed on the website. The next step would be to organize a meeting of the committee.

2.1.4 Finance and Governance
a. Finance – Treasurer reported that 2013 subscriptions had not been received from Mexico and SPAC. Mr Eusebio Serrano said that he had spoken to Mexico and they had confirmed that they would pay before the end of July 2013. Chairman said that if it was not received by the next meeting, they will be suspended. Treasurer said that SPAC had banked the dues into a ‘closed’ IFABC account and he was hopeful that they would re-submit into the correct account. He mentioned that it was difficult to remit money out of China.

The invoice from Macomm Management Services Sdn Bhd being professional fees in respect of secretarial services and out of pocket expenses for the months April 2013 to June 2013 amounting to € 3,955-95 was approved for payment.

Treasurer tabled the budget estimates for the year 2013 and the actual expense for 6 months up to 30 June 2013 which was accepted. Minor adjustments were made as required. He said that the budget € 10,000 for other initiatives was only a provision for anything new to start, maybe for planning for GA 2014. Treasurer said that there will be a GA budget in 2014. The Executive Committee expenses amounting to € 8,000 budgeted was still unused. In response to a question, Treasurer said that financially the IFABC was in a fair state and on course. Chairman said that 2012 had been a heavy expense year while 2013 was relatively easier on resources.

It was noted that there was an amount of € 67,810-38 in the HSBC bank in Singapore.

b. Governance – Discussion took place and it was agreed to place the amended constitution on the website with a qualifier that the amendments were subject to approval from the ROS Singapore.

3. THE FUTURE OF MEDIA MEASUREMENT – STRUCTURE AND METHODOLOGY - Chairman said that this matter was being raised to get an initial discussion going. The pressure on traditional readership/circulation/digital measurement was growing greater. Bureaux were coming under pressure from the publishers as the industry wanted to bring initiatives with hybrid measurement through combining print and online data. Some of the major stakeholders wanted to fuse together in a hybrid form print and digital census data and print and digital research data and to obtain a total audience data. Mr George Bohlander said that the industry was discussing a reorganization and the future (2015+) of the JICs. At the moment the online JIC (STIR) which was based on a hybrid solution (GfK+comScore) had stopped their activities, because results from hybrid measurement have not been published to the market. Online measurement will be integrated in the other JICs (TV, radio and print). IAB was looking for alternatives Planning was that JIC’s will be working more closely together (trainings to market, one office for all JICs etc). Because of the new initiatives like (touchpoint study) costs of the JICs were in discussion.

Ms Szczesna said that she understood that in UK, the data has been fused for B2B publications. Chairman said that for the big consumer brands the industry JICs were starting to consider carrying out an industry wide media brand-level research, and fusing it with the industry census data that ABC currently does – the equivalent of the National Readership Survey, the UK online panel and ABC circulation and web traffic data coming together to create one unified measurement system. The industry was seeing some of the leading publishers pushing hard in this direction. Advertisers were also interested as they were thinking about matching their brands with media brands in partnership arrangements, not purely advertising. The agencies were less concerned; they want to preserve their traditional negotiating power; they want data broken down in as small a way as possible. They liked negotiating on a channel by channel basis.

There was certainly stronger pressure now than before from the publishers. The pressure was from big newspaper publishers with some interest from magazines. Magazines have still not developed digital audiences as much but on the other hand they find that under the current measurement system, panels struggled to pick up pick their digital readership. The panels were not large and the readership was small. As such the current system was also not working well for magazines now.

Mr Paul Dovas said that in Australia the same thing was happening. The newspapers have a new newspaper readership survey part of which was fusing Nielsen online audience data. In a separate area it modeled smaller publications using circulation data but they have not brought the circulation data for larger publications with the readership data yet. But they were a lot of problems. A lot of it stemmed from the fact that Australia was a difficult place to operate panels. It was a market place with a huge geographical area with a small population. Therefore there was a need for a huge number to be represented on the panel to represent the country. It means that most publishers do not have access to panel data whether online, print or TV etc– had no reliable figures. Publishers sometimes had to explain having varying results month vs month. In online because there were so many choices and websites that people can visit, a panel no matter how robust or big it was will always have anomalies in their reporting. It does not happen so much with TV or radio or print reporting because there were less choices for people to make.
It was an issue for the ABC as most of the members especially the smaller publishers who still rely on circulation data to have some sort of research/numbers in the market place. The strategy was to go to the market and remind the industry that no matter how good the research was or the panel data was, the media inventory which was being brought should be checked, measured, audited and verified. This was the role of the ABC. ABC was providing the voice for the smaller members and providing visibility amongst the clients and the media agencies. Media agencies wanted a total audience number as they were looking for fewer sources of data to throw into their exchange systems, the DSPs. The more data they threw at the DSPs, the more expensive it becomes to operate the DSPs to store the data, to source the data. The less sources they have, it becomes cheaper to do business. They were therefore pushing for single source data. They were asking whether circulation was important to them. ABC was reminding the clients who want to be in print that circulation was very important because the publisher need to prove the inventory that it was being printed and the ads were going into the copy.

Mr Eusebio Serrano said that the situation was not clear. Hybrid data was provided by comScore. They fused the data for the unique audience. The online agencies were not happy because it was very sample ranking and no more details; they required not only quantitative data but also qualitative. There was a need for more profile to promote it for commercial use. In the future the organisations working in the media market need to collaborate; there were many tools, and many metrics, sooner or later the entities may have to merge or collaborate for stronger services.

4. NEXT MEETING – 10.00am, London time, 9th September 2013

5. ANY OTHER BUSINESS:

5.1 The meeting was adjourned at 11.30am.

 

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