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March 11, 2009

Photography magazine’s readership claim ‘misleading’

By Jon Slattery

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint against the Archant-owned magazine Photography Monthly about its readership claims.

In an email campaign, the title claimed it had “an ABC audited circulation of 36,028 (Jan-Dec 2007) and a monthly readership of 90,070 … based on 2.5 readers per copy”.

Bright Publishing, which owns the rival Photo Pro magazine, challenged whether the readership was misleading.

It believed the figure of 2.5 readers per copy could not be substantiated.

Photography Monthly apologised for any possible confusion and said the original claim was an estimate of the readers per copy based on the value attributed to all monthly magazines by the National Readership Survey.

The title had also carried out a reader survey, but agreed that it should have stated that it was an estimate and made clear the source of the figure.

The ASA said the purpose of the email quoting the figures was to encourage advertisers to buy space in Photography Monthly.

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The regulator considered that the target audience was likely to expect the claim to be based on independent data specific to Photography Monthly magazine.

It upheld the complaint and told Photography Monthly to ensure reader-per-copy figures in future were based on robust evidence.

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