For press enquiries or to request an interview please contact our PR team at Native Consultancy:
- Richard Edwards and Rachel Hesslegrave
- Who are ABC?
ABC is the media industry’s stamp of trust. We are owned and developed jointly by media owners, advertisers and agencies to deliver industry-agreed standards for media brand measurement. ABC is also a trusted verification provider. We audit data, processes, performance and the adoption of best practice against industry-agreed standards across a range of platforms including print, digital and events. ABC was the first UK Joint Industry Currency (JIC) and a founder member of the International Federation of ABCs.
- When and why was ABC founded? ABC was founded in 1931 as a response to advertisers' requests for an independent source of circulation data. ABCe was established in 1996 to manage standards for the online industry through its work with JICWEBS, The Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards. In 2011, ABC and ABCe united under one brand.
- Do all publications audit with ABC? Publications are not required to audit with ABC but the vast majority of national and regional newspapers and B2B and consumer magazines do so.
- Who decides the rules?
ABC is governed by a Board of permanent and nominated representatives from media owners, media buyers, advertisers and industry trade bodies. The rules governing what ABC measures and reports are called Reporting Standards (sometimes referred to as ‘audit rules’). Changes to these rules are discussed and agreed, usually through consensus, by the relevant Reporting Standards Group, in line with the needs of the industry. ABC management’s role is to facilitate and implement the results of these discussions, acting as the Secretariat of the Reporting Standards Groups; it is not to make the rules or take decisions about what is or is not allowed. (N.B. While the constitution of JICWEBS, the body that sets the standards for digital media, is somewhat different, the basic principles of its operation are the same.)
- How does ABC data differ to NRS data? ABC audits circulation using a census (counting) based approach i.e. the number of copies of a publication sold or distributed free of charge. NRS provides an estimate of the number and type readers of a publication by using panel based (research) approach.
- How is ABC funded?
ABC is funded by its members who pay a one-off membership fee followed by individual audit fees. The costs of being in membership are not prohibitive and start from around £1,500 depending on the type of publication.
- Why does ABC not comment on market trends? ABC publishes data on individual publications or websites. We cannot add figures together to give a market or sector total because not all publications or web properties audit. ABC data can therefore never be entirely representative of a market sector.
- How often are ABC reports released? National Newspaper Reports, Multi-Platform Reports for national newspapers and ABC Bulk (free newspaper pick up) reports are issued monthly. Consumer Magazines, Regional Publications and Irish media data is issued concurrently twice a year. B2B Magazines and online data is released on certificates throughout the year. View a list of upcoming reports.
- What are JICs? The Joint Industry Currencies (JICs) are owned and developed jointly – by advertisers, agencies and media owners – to provide transparent and impartial audience data for each medium. They are produced and sold at cost, providing accountability and robust currency for planning and trading. The UK JICs are: ABC BARB JICPOPS JICREG JICWEBS PAMCo RAJAR ROUTE