12 Building a print circulations audit system

12.15. of marketing and public representation of the ABC.

One thing an ABC should avoid as much as possible is to (let members) create confusion. What do I mean?

Perhaps this anecdote will offer some enlightenment.

Years ago, within the Hungarian ABC, we had only one logo, which was both the emblem for the membership and the audit. We did not distinguish between those publishers who were members and their publications which were or not audited.

We conducted a survey among advertisers and media agencies on how they perceived our logo, and the result was quite surprising. They were convinced that the presence of the logo on the masthead of a publication meant it was audited!

As a result, we had to change this marketing rule. Our ABC does not allow anymore for publishers to display any ABC logo on unaudited publications. Nowadays, the only circumstance in which our logo can be published in a publication is if, and only if, it is audited by us.

Here are a few areas of membership where an ABC should be careful to set clear rules.

• How and when a member can publish its ABC membership status.
• How and when a leaving member should remove its ABC membership status emblem.
• When and how a publisher can communicate the audit status of a publication.
• The situations where the audit logo must be taken off.
• How should the audited data be published by the publishers.

There rules are necessary because it happens often that members (and non-members as well) tend to communicate falsely about their ABC membership and/or the audit status of the publications. These episodes create confusion, and erode the credibility of the ABC.

It is totally up to an individual ABC on how many logos will be used. Note one thing for sure: protect your brand, by registering your logo(s) as a trade-mark(s).

Of course, any rule is as good as it is enforced; therefore an ABC must take care of this problem as well.

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