Backcheck requirement changes

by Team on 02/08/2013

The ABC Board and Reporting Standards Group – which apparently includes advertiser and media buyer representatives alongside newspaper publishers – has concluded that backchecking as the industry recognises it, no longer needs to be completed.

That conclusion is based upon a statement that advertisers and buyers will not be “exposed to any additional risk as a result, but publishers must still maintain adequate management controls”.

For full details of the decision, please click here.

The revelation has created different reactions in the publishing world.

Two newspaper groups have either ceased or are about to cease all backchecking – but one has said they will check if the client is prepared to pay for the service!

Others – at least in the in the leaflet divisions – are horrified at the concept and have no intention of drawing the practice to a close in the short term.

Some are still considering their positions, but worryingly a few see it as a potential cost saving opportunity.

At TLC we have some major concerns about this news, as it’s difficult to understand how any service provider can now convince a client that their drop took place?

If a campaign has failed to meet its objectives, distribution quality can bear the brunt of the blame (perhaps forgetting relevance, targeting, creative, the offer etc., etc) and when depersonalised backchecks are presented as proof of distribution, clients can disregard such evidence.

Remove such evidence and surely the attraction of free newspapers will deteriorate to some advertisers, but only time will tell.

Most newspaper publishers will tell you that leaflet volumes and revenues are lower than they have been for years, but at TLC, we don’t see this latest news as helping any recovery.

As clients, what do you think?

Share your views by commenting below, or contacting us.

This article was written by...

– who has written 51 posts on Letterbox Consultancy for Door Drop Marketing.

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