PIB Revamps Its Approach
Stung by Hearst's temporary resignation, PIB has overhauled its reporting system for ad pages. But will it work?
How will PIB's new method for distinguishing ad pages from magazines and nontraditional sources affect publishers, both in the way they use their numbers to make internal business decisions and the way they present their case to potential advertisers? FOLIO: spoke with four consumer title publishers and advertising professionals for their views.-Rolf Maurer
Ad manager, The Magazine Consultancy
PIB's new four-column ad-page breakdown by magazines, unscheduled (specials), supplements/outserts and overall totals is certainly welcome, because it makes us more well versed when we go out to pitch business to advertisers. As ad rep/ad manager for First For Women, Woman's World and other Bauer tides, I feel that the more information you have, the better you are able to see what business competitors are carrying, and to position your own titles accordingly. Something else for which I would like to see a distinction made in the future are four-color ads and classified advertising. Different titles depend on these two types of advertising to differing degrees, and this is something worth knowing about.
Senior vice president, group publisher Hachette Filipacchi Automotive Group
It's good that the new format allows the media planner to better understand where the pages in a prospective magazine are coming from, and directly addresses the issue raised by Hearst regarding the misrepresentation of Conde Nast's totals. My issue, though, is that everything is still measured equally. Print has become so much of a commodity today, like television, with pages being discounted off the rate card and others being thrown in on a bonus basis, it's hard to know what's really being measured anymore. As long as this game of mirrors prevails, the Census remains more accurate than PIB, and PIB is in no position to measure something that is strictly proprietary. The only solution I see is for publishers to divulge their ad rates, which isn't going to happen. Sure, "everybody might be doing it," but not everybody does it equally, and that's the problem. …