NZ revenue info is ‘Third World’

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Respected NZ adman Barry Williamson (“I view myself as a marketing communications person who happened to specialise in the media side of the business”) has gone on the offensive in response to the Advertising Standards Authority’s decision to no longer release an annual breakdown of actual media and a total advertising turnover number.

That move, announced earlier this week, brought to an end a service provided by the ASA for the past 15 years.

“The ASA numbers being released annually with no specific breakdown by each channel is a blunt instrument,” he wrote in a post to the M+AD site.

“This was highlighted as part of the review I undertook of the Nielsen AIS competitive spend service in 2013, where I pointed out the anomalies of double-reporting and having no transparency between online and offline category reporting within the ASA data.

“Whilst I acknowledge that measurement is more complicated within the digital spectrum where boundaries are blurred, nevertheless it is an indictment on our industry that we cannot produce a set of accurate numbers that define the industry on a more regular basis.

“I believe that a set of independently audited industry figures, released at least quarterly, would provide usable data, as long as the industry can agree as t o how digital reporting can be defined and individual channel spends broken out by spend category.

“The ASA has been lumbered with this responsibility over the years and with all due respect to the good work it does, it is not equipped (nor funded) to be able to put the required effort into this expenditure reporting.

“It is something that CAANZ, ANZA and the Marketing Association need to take a leadership role in. SMI is not enough – agencies do not control enough of the overall spend to make those numbers representative of the market.

“Why doesn’t the industry look to Australia? The CAESA report no doubt has its detractors, but at least it provides a reasonable level of transparency on a reasonably regular basis. All the major media agency groups have their global projection reports.

“With nothing to verify against, how does the NZ media industry look when it has no ‘official’ revenue reporting system? Pretty much Third World in my view!”

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