As much as things change, they stay the same.

The controversy in the print world is now focused on whether or not publishers should guarantee their circulation base on an issue by issue basis. The controversy is not new .... but agencies and marketers need to stir this pot once again .... because most of the industry cannot get its act together when it comes to audience measurement.

Frankly, the act is tired. Over three years ago, I posted commentary on just this topic offering a solution to the problem (you can find the commentary at
MediaLifeMagazine if you care to humor me).

Yes, the publishing groups have had some ups and (mostly) downs over the last few years. So let's beat them while they're down. Let's not applaud all the positive contributions they've made over the years -- negative reinforcement works best!!

Margins are shrinking --- for everyone. And we all have bigger battles to fight. The mere act of suggesting issue-based guarantees will, in the end, amount to a hill of beans while the related costs to support any such plan will, again, eat away at every one's bottom line.

Instead of coming up with schemes to squeeze another nickel out of the publishers, let's consider opening a real dialogue here and "play nice" in the sandbox, working with publishers, clients and agencies to forge partnerships that foster growth and encourage new thinking.

Let's stop running in circles.

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