Magazine sales data by PIB moving to quarterly from monthly reports

If you are a major marketer and you are looking to analyze trends in ad spending across the major consumer magazines you can forget getting monthly data from the PIB. To the unitiated, the Publishers Information Bureau (PIB) has published monthly data on total ad spending in the major magazines each month and is a unit operated by the Magazine Publishers Association (MPA).

While PIB data is based on the published rate cards (and everyone knows that no major marketer pays rate card for anything and substantially less) it is a system that is better than nothing.

This is not chump change they are analyzing either unless you count $500,000,000 as chump change and unless you are Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, or Oprah that’s a lot of zeroes.

I can understand that the magazine publishers don’t wish to be punished for overpublishing data but this doesn’t strike me as a signal coming from a point of strength – far from it. Naturally, the spin is that the PIB wishes to promote more in-depth data by using quarterly statistics. That’s weak.

It would be more effective to say that the PIB is sick of being screwed by agencies planning media placement by having more accurate and up to date data for decisions than say cable television provides and they just want to level the playing field for how media gets evaluated and ultimately placed.

Alas, the change is immediate and the data is now only available quarterly. At least the ABM is still reporting data monthly but who wants to bet that’s gonna change…very soon.

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