ABC UK Evolves To Better Meet Industry Needs

ABC and ABCe have today (21 March 2011) united under one brand. A new identity and integrated structure has been unveiled, putting digital and innovation at the heart of the organisation. Whilst print remains the bedrock of ABC, digital activity currently accounts for 30 per cent of ABC’s revenue. This is predicted to continue to grow significantly, making this move a natural progression in the evolution of the organisation.

ABC’s Board has unanimously backed this new direction, which follows 12 months of developments that have seen ABC align itself to the changing shape of the industry. As ABC’s members continue to develop their digital platforms alongside existing offerings, ABC’s integration with ABCe will better complement and serve the industry’s increasingly multi platform needs.

In 2010 the ABC Council was replaced with a streamlined ABC Board – with 25% of members representing the digital sector. Richard Foan, currently Managing Director of ABCe, will now be Group Executive Director of Communication and Innovation across the newly unified ABC. This will allow the whole organisation to benefit from his approach and insights. Having successfully grown ABC’s digital presence, Foan will lead ABC’s commitment to evolving its services in order to meet members’ needs. He will continue to chair the JICWEBS Standards Group and the IFABC web standards group.

Jan Pitt, currently Director of Magazines and Exhibitions, will take up the position of Group Executive Director of Client Services, to bring together expertise from across the business in order to provide a fully integrated service to customers. In January 2011, responding to increasing appetite for multi platform data, ABC launched its Cross Platform Certificate to allow digital editions and print figures to be reported side by side. This year, over 50 magazines are choosing to report their print and digital editions together.

Martyn Gates – currently Director of Newspapers – will now be Group Executive Director of Standards, Operations and Compliance. His focus will be on taking a joined up approach to setting standards across industry sectors, to ensure that digital and offline measurement are seamlessly integrated to reflect the evolving structures of ABC members’ organisations. Simon Redlich will continue to maintain his responsibilities as Group Executive Director of Audit, Finance and IT.

Leading up to this announcement, ABC has invested time and resources into strengthening its relationship with media agencies across the UK. The Agency Relationship Management (ARM) scheme has been very successful, with agencies such as MediaCom, Carat, MEC and Mindshare benefiting from bespoke ABC training and guidance.

In line with today’s news, ABC have also revealed a refreshed logo, new set of marketing material and updated reports and certificates. The imminent launch of a new ABC website – a key resource for the entire industry – offers easier access to ABC information and an enhanced search function, further complementing the organisational changes.

Jerry Wright, Chief Executive of ABC and President of IFABC, commented:

“As the media industry has developed with increasing emphasis on digital media, so have we. ABC’s re-organisation will further integrate our expertise across print and digital disciplines, making it easier for our clients to do business with us. ABC remains committed to ensuring decision makers – including advertisers, digital traders, media owners and their clients - have access to comparable and transparent data. We continue to seek to inspire market confidence through our certification.

What's important is ABC is governed by the industry, for the industry. Our brand provides a carefully managed stamp of trust throughout the media world. We exist to help the industry trade effectively and efficiently by providing comparable, transparent and accountable data to industry agreed standards. Evolving our business now will strengthen our position within the industry, which will benefit all our members, now and in the future. ”