Thursday, July 14, 2005


Don't Get So Excited About Ad Pages Going Up

The Publishers Information Bureau released data about ad pages, and it looked more bullish than it really is. Year-to-date pages are up 1.8%, and revenues are up 9.5%. Pages are pages, so they should be compared to real GDP; they lag significantly, as GDP is up +3.8%. Dollars have not been adjusted for inflation, and they should be compared to current GDP. That looks more favorable, as current GDP, unadjusted for inflation is about 6%, +9.5% looks pretty good. The problem is that dollars are computed on a rate card, or "list price" basis. From the bellyaching of publishing execs and industry analysts, it's doubtful that those +9.5% are actually logged on the books of the reporting PIB companies.



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