By: Jennifer Saba
Three newspapers have signed on for the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ new insert verification service. The News & Record in Greensboro, N.C., The San Diego Union-Tribune, and The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio will have ABC auditors verify preprinted inserts.
“We were willing to make the investments necessary to ensure that our advertisers’ business succeeds,” David Berrier, circulation distribution manager at the News & Record, said in a statement. “While we have tremendous confidence in the accuracy and quality of our distribution processes, we understand the need for third-party validation.”
The voluntary program, launched earlier this month, is conducted in a few ways. For large metros, ABC auditors will select one Sunday and pull inserts from each ZIP code or sub-zone matching them to sample batches. For smaller papers, auditors will look at ledgers and handling procedures. ABC will issue results within 10 to 14 days of the audit.
For larger papers, the separate fee is set between $15,000 and $20,000. Smaller papers will pay between $1,000 and $2,500 for the service.
“We see it as a way to show our major advertisers that we have the most credible, reliable distribution services available in the market,” Scott Whitley, advertising director at the San Diego Union-Tribune, said in a statement.
Advertisers are pleased to see papers taking the extra safeguard. “It’s critical that the various versions of our adverting inserts are delivered to the correct, targeted groups of consumers we want to reach,” said Craig Sinclair, vice president of advertising at Walgreen Co.