I’m not one to say ‘I told you so’

I’m not one to say ‘I told you so’: Okay, I take that back. I am one to say “I told you so.” Last month, I predicted that the faux-statistic of year-over-year “ad pages” would be coming to an end within a month or two.

Rexblog flashback, May 11, 2004:

Rock bottom? Magazine advertising pages in B-to-B books continue to decline (Note: I’ve given up ever trying to educate anyone that revenues are more important than ad pages). The good news: within a month or two, lousy previous-year numbers will make such comparisons look impressive. Most flagrant faux statistic in this article: 300,000 advertising pages “have been loss” since the beginning of the recession. Lost? How can something be lost that never existed? That’s like politicians using the word “cut” to describe a slow-down in the rate of growth of a government program.

Well, this month we enter into the era of a new faux statistic: “gains-in-ad-pages.”

Quote from MediaPost.com:

For magazines, the long national ad-revenue nightmare may be over. For one month, anyway. After ten consecutive months of ad page erosion, the major consumer magazines tracked by the Publishers Information Bureau recorded a gain in May–rising 4.8 percent over May 2003…Reported advertising revenues rose 12.8 percent–marking the strongest advertising month so far this year, ending a 10-month streak of declines, and possibly topping off a lousy few years for the business, which had yet to feel the effects of a resurgent ad market.

MediaPost needs to clarify that last sentence, “ending a 10-month streak of declines,” as it is using apples (advertising pages have been down for ten months) to describe oranges (advertising revenues have NOT had a 10-month streak of declines, at least according to stories in previous months of MediaPost). However, I will agree, it has been a lousy few years for the business.

  • Tom

    I’ve been posting similar stats about how ad revs have been up for a lot of pubs this year. While it is a good thing that the ad side and the edit side of the publication world don’t play in the same sandbox – most of the time – this is a time when it’s kind of unfortunate, because a writer could have figured out the difference in what they were stating.

    I’m not sure why people wouldn’t understand that selling less ads for more money would be a good thing in most cases. (though riding that slope couldn’t last forever!)