Let's all raise a glass to transparency

Derek Morris, Chairman of ABC and a Consultant at Publicis is raising a toast to transparency - and here's why you should be too.

Fancy a beer? Probably depends on what time it is.

But have you ever wondered how many different shapes of glasses a pint of beer come in nowadays?

Probably not.

Anyway regardless of the shape of glass from pot to goblet - a pint’s a pint.

Isn’t it?

Well if you are really worried you can rely on the little Government stamp on the side of the glass endorsing that it is an Imperial Pint – a measure from 1824 delineating 20oz of water at 62 ⁰F.

A little over 100 years later the Publishing Industry and Advertising Industry decided to do the same for the circulation of newspapers and, later, magazines and other media platforms.

It established ABC

And in the same way as a pint, it's very easy to take this for granted.

But you shouldn’t.

ABC makes Trust.

It produces a verified measure of what is being traded.

That ‘Trust’ helps you make money for your business, be you buyer or seller.

ABC is an unsung asset of our market place. An organisation set up to safeguard against FAKE.

And sadly, FAKE is something beginning to be taken for granted in today’s society. Be it fake news, fake political claims or fake impact figures from media owners without a Joint Industry Currency – JIC.

The industry, and in particular ABC publisher members, deserve credit for funding this measure against FAKE.

ABC is an organisation made up equally of agency buyers, clients and media owners. It sets agreed standards and then verifies the real circulation figures against those standards.

It is the stamp that says your audience pint is a pint and that you are getting what you pay for.

It’s a brilliant creation. One we have on TV, Out of Home, Radio – and now Direct Mail. 

ABC figures are fact. Not a survey or a sample but the verified hard count of what goes out to the consumer. They can be used on their own or in conjunction with readership surveys or your own proprietary tools. The ABC numbers are so solid that they act as the bench mark against which the other measures can be validated.

But unlike the Imperial Pint ABC has not remained unchanged.

It has kept pace with the changes in the publishing market. It needs to be agile so that it supports ideas and actions that build circulation, not restrict it.

And this it has done.

This month sees the end of a one year revamp on the standards and what goes into the measure. It has brought in more flexibility and simplified what is deemed to be a copy.

The certification and the way in which the numbers are presented have all been redesigned making things easy to use and easier to find what you need to trust. You can see these for the first time in February’s release of the Magazine market data.

Check it out and let us know what else could be improved.

But most of all please remember this

ABC is an accessible and easy to use, industry agreed stamp of trust and transparency that gives assurance you get what you pay for. If we didn’t already have it there would be calls to invent it.

Rather like your pint you can trust it is right, but please never take it for granted. It needs to be celebrated and preserved.

And we should all raise a glass to that.


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Last updated 21 January 2022