Bringing magazine measurement into the 21st century

Date of publication: June 1, 2008


When an advertiser looks at an 'X' on a certain day in the media flighting plan it would be a reasonable expectancy that this would be the point in time that the selected vehicle delivered its audience. Certainly this is the case for TV, radio and the internet but absolutely not so for magazines which may take weeks or even months to finally accumulate their traditionally reported 'average issue' reach. The absence of the time element in the magazine measurement has for decades given a totally misleading impression of magazines as a reach medium whereas they are in fact a frequency medium with multiple reading events spread over time from both initial and pass along readers. The paper will report on two years of experience with the Belgium Magazine Association's 'WAR' (Weekly Advertising Reach) event based reading data and how the perceptions of agency planners have changed about the role of magazines (in the media mix) and resulted in a large scale test by the CIM (JIC for Belgium) to incorporate these time related measures within the National Readership Survey whilst retaining the Recent Reading currency measurement. The technical aspects and results of this test will be covered in the paper.

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