Monday, June 28, 2004

Scandal again, this time in publishing . . .

Today's New York Times includes an article entitledThe Troubling Case of the Phantom Readers , which describes the disclosure of inflated circulation numbers by three publications (Newsday, Hoy, and the Chicago Sun-Times). This comes on the heels of previous announcements about magazines that had inflated circulation numbers, namely Rosie, YM, and Fast Company (all published by Gruner & Jahr).

Seems that in that increasingly wired world we're always hearing about, where things run at faster and faster speeds, TV ratings are available overnight, web stats are updated constantly, and print circulation stats . . . well, they take up to 18 months (for audited results, anyway). No immediate gratification there, and a lot of room for publications to fudge numbers, yet slip through the cracks on the auditing side.

Of course, this presents the biggest problem for advertisers, who actually provide most of the revenues for publications, and now may have serious doubts about whether or not their ads are reaching the number of eyes they had anticipated.

- posted by laurie @ 6/28/2004 07:01:00 AM
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