Summary of January 2017 AAM Board Actions

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The AAM North American board met on January 18-19, and the Canada Board Committee met on January 9, to discuss key AAM initiatives. The following are highlights of the actions that affect AAM clients. AAM also released a news release summarizing these actions to the industry. Updates to AAM’s bylaws and rules are posted on AAM’s website following each board meeting. 

Update on AAM’s 2017 Strategic Initiatives

The board reviewed and supported a number of initiatives focused on bringing more transparency and confidence across the media industry. From expanding its information services to increasing assurance in new digital channels, the board supported several AAM initiatives for 2017. 

  • Expand AAM’s Information Services: Over the past two years, AAM has worked to expand the users and usage of its verified data through initiatives such as opening unlimited client access to the Media Intelligence Center, expanding the partners in our data distribution network, and improving features and functionality in the Media Intelligence Center. AAM’s database now has 3,200 active users, who access the data at least monthly on average.

    With usage and users at an all-time high, AAM introduced AAM Brand View, a new interface within the Media Intelligence Center for publishers to showcase all of their verified media offerings—print, websites, apps, newsletters, events—in one dynamic, trusted, visible place. Publishers can also actively market their verified brand to advertisers outside of AAM by sharing their unique profile link. Nearly 60 b2b publications have published their Brand View profiles to the Media Intelligence Center to date, and a number of newspapers and magazines are now testing the interface. 
  • Bring a New Type of Digital Assurance to Media: As publishers and advertisers continue to face digital issues such as inaccurate media measurement and the universal impact of ad fraud and invalid traffic, the AAM board discussed new ways to safeguard media investments and bring more assurance to digital channels.

    AAM is exploring new approaches that focus on quality across publishers’ business processes, website analytics and site traffic. AAM is also exploring new solutions to help advertisers better understand the performance of their campaigns. Together, the publisher and advertiser offerings will increase trust and transparency in the media ecosystem. AAM will provide more information about the new services over the next few months.

  • Help Marketers and Publishers Understand the Impact of New Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation: Organizations that distribute digital content to Canadian consumers need to become well-versed in the requirements of Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), a new set of laws that govern how businesses obtain consent to send commercial electronic messages to Canadian consumers. When CASL is fully implemented on July 1, 2017, marketers, publishers and vendors alike are at risk of incurring fines of up to $10 million and being served class action lawsuits from the public if they are not compliant—even if the company is not based in Canada.

    AAM is working with the industry to educate publishers and marketers on the implications of CASL. Over the next few months, AAM will continue to provide updates and educational materials on the new legislation, CASL compliance and steps to help protect organizations.


Actions for U.S. Clients

Farm Publications

New Option for Reporting Total Gross Contacts on AAM’s Farm Publication Consolidated Media Reports

Farm publications have historically had the option of reporting total gross contacts by issue, but the Business/Farm Committee decided to allow publishers to also include total gross contacts by month.

Consumer Magazines

Digital Sponsored Subscriptions and Single-Copy Sales to Require “Opens” on December 2017 Reports

Starting with July 2017 issues, publishers reporting digital sponsored subscriptions and single copies will be required to show proof that the issue was opened by a consumer to qualify as circulation on AAM’s December reports. Currently, publishers must show confirmation of delivery to qualify issues as digital sponsored subscriptions or single-copy sales. 


New Targeted Mail Strategies Available to Nonpaid Magazines

Rule F 13.6 Analyzed Nonpaid Market Coverage Defined, which allows nonpaid magazines to target known recipients via direct mail programs, was modified to let publishers target general markets via programs known as Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM). Several companies, including the United States Postal Service, offer EDDM programs to help publishers reach consumers by distributing unaddressed mail to regular mail locations based on demographic and geographic information.


AAM to Streamline Distribution of Audited Data

Since 2015, newspapers have reported quarterly data with an emphasis on more frequent cross-media reporting. This strategic change gave newspapers added visibility with advertisers, who in turn are accessing their data more frequently. Now AAM is working with key industry groups, including the News Media Alliance and AAM’s Newspaper Buyers’ Advisory Committee, to evolve how audited data is available to the marketplace.

The board supported key components for this initiative including:

  • Reimagining AAM’s audit report into an abbreviated PDF report: The redesigned PDF report would show a publisher’s audited data and any applicable explanations found in the audit. Other audited information such as ZIP code analysis would be available in customizable reports in the Media Intelligence Center.
  • The importance of up-to-date data: Quarterly newspaper claims are available to media buyers via the Newspaper Analyzer. To make comparisons easier for AAM data users, AAM will consider adding new customizable reports that compare audit and quarterly data in one concise, downloadable format. Additionally, AAM will consider how to transition the data on the homepage of the Media Intelligence Center from audit data to quarterly data to put current newspaper information in front of data AAM users and buyers.

AAM and these key stakeholders will continue to discuss the opportunities around AAM-audited data. The board will revisit the topic and provide an update to all clients at its July meeting.


AAM Brand View Available to All Newspapers in June 2017

As part of the continued evolution of newspaper reporting, all newspapers will be encouraged to publish AAM Brand View profiles with Q2 2017 data. AAM Brand View is a new interface within the Media Intelligence Center that lets publishers show all their verified offerings—print, websites, apps, newsletters, events—to media buyers.  

Over the last two years, newspapers have published annual standard or enhanced Consolidated Media Reports (CMRs) to provide more information about their brands as part of the transition to quarterly reporting. Starting with the June 2017 quarter, newspapers are no longer required to create annual standard or enhanced CMRs and will instead be encouraged to create an AAM Brand View profile. With Brand View, publishers can continue to put this information in front of media buyers in a new dynamic profile that helps them market their brand reach and share a direct link with advertisers outside of AAM.

AAM will provide more information about AAM Brand View to all newspaper clients over the next few months. If you’re a publisher interested in creating an AAM Brand View profile, please contact us for more information.


AAM to Consider Expanding Client Requirements to Accommodate Newspapers’ Evolving Publishing Strategies

To accommodate newspapers’ evolving print strategies, AAM is considering expanding its newspaper client base to include publications that publish content on less frequently than daily or weekly, which is currently required by AAM’s bylaws and rules. 

Over the next few months the Newspaper Committee will consider ways to modify AAM rules and definitions to allow for newspapers that publish less frequently to be AAM clients.


Actions for Canadian Clients

Farm Publications

New Option for Reporting Total Gross Contacts on AAM’s Farm Publication Consolidated Media Reports

Farm publications have historically had the option of reporting total gross contacts by issue, but the Business/Farm Committee decided to allow publishers to also include total gross contacts by month.

Consumer Magazines

FYI: U.S. Publishers Required to Report “Unique Opens” for Digital Sponsored Copies

In July 2016 the Canada Board Committee, Magazine Committee and AAM’s North American board discussed instances of indirect consumer payment, including “sponsored digital issues.” At its latest meeting, the AAM North American board changed how U.S. magazines report digital sponsored circulation to bring more transparency to these transactions. Effective with July 2017 issues, U.S. publishers will be required to not only show proof of delivery for the issue, but also that it was opened by the consumer.

This change does not apply to Canadian magazines.


Update on Canadian Quarterly Newspaper Reporting

In January Canadian newspapers began reporting all data quarterly to address the industry’s call for up-to-date verified newspaper data. Starting in February this information will be featured in a new quarterly data report that includes:

  • A section called the “Circulation Summary” that shows a newspaper’s total daily print, digital replica and digital nonreplica circulation averages.
  • Separate averages for digital replica and digital nonreplica circulation
  • The option to provide additional data points such as affiliated publications and cross-media metrics.

Quarterly data will also be featured in AAM’s soon-to-be released Newspaper Analyzer, a new tool in the Media Intelligence Center that allows users to easily download and analyze in-depth newspaper reports. 


Other Developments

AAM Welcomes New Advertiser Director, Elects Chairman of AAM Canada Board Committee

The board elected Danielle Bateman Girondo, senior director of marketing and advertising at Save-A-Lot food stores, as a new AAM director representing U.S. advertisers. Phillip Crawley, CEO and publisher of The Globe and Mail, was elected chairman of the Canada Board Committee and vice chairman of the AAM board.

The board also accepted the resignations of:

  • Shelagh Stoneham, who represented Canadian advertisers and was chairwoman of the Canada Board Committee
  • Jeffrey Holecko, who represented U.S. advertisers
  • Susan Roberson, who represented U.S. magazines 


AAM Eliminates Bylaw 2.14 Membership Certificates

The board agreed to eliminate Bylaw 2.14 Membership Certificates, which states that AAM must issue a printed membership certificate to all clients. If you would like to promote your company’s involvement with AAM, please contact a representative for more information.