12 Building a print circulations audit system

12.4. The existing models

As mentioned earlier, there are more than 40 ABCs around the world, each providing among other services the (by now classical) print circulation audit. These ABCs represent the majority of the international media audit movement: the IFABC.

The IFABC has commonly agreed web and other digital measurement terminology. There is no agreement over print circulation audit standards. This is because of the very different market situations, as well as historical reasons. The IFABC was formed in 1963, when the joining members, established form the beginning of the last century, at different points in time, had already developed their own national advertising industries standards, which were in many cases incompatible. In contrast, at the time when the internet and world wide web traffic became an issue, the IFABC created a unique set of standards and metrics for measuring the web traffic which are applied by all its
members, and beyond.

Since the print titles production and distribution in different countries have many common features, one may discover a lot of similarities among different ABCs audit systems. Nevertheless, there is a wide array of details that are very unique.

There is no best audit system model. If one is seeking to pick the best model for his country/industry, please study as many audit systems as possible, and focus on those which show similarities to your own market. Try to get the best out of other’s work!

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