ABC rule change on free mags is welcomed

Magazine auditor ABC has changed the rules for free magazines such as Shortlist and Sport so the circulation figures are reported on a net basis and will account for returns.

It will mean consistency with the ABC data reported for free newspapers under the ABC bulk rules.

The magazines were initially only required to report gross distribution, with no itemisation of how many magazines were left in bins uncollected. The next set of figures, for the first half of 2008 – out in August – will note how many are distributed by hand and how many directly.

Mike Soutar, Shortlist editor-in-chief, welcomed the changes: ‘Anything that gives transparency is a good thing ultimately. It means that as media owners we can justify everything that we do, and media-buyers can buy with confidence.”

Shortlist’s first ABC was 462,73. The ABC of fellow free Sport remained the same, with a print run of 317,209.

Sport publisher Greg Maill said: ‘It makes more sense; everyone is happy. What we’ve tried to do with our audits is be consistent and accurate, so we won’t see a huge change in our figures.”

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