Funny numbers

Funny numbers: Well, while I’m blogging G+J’s fast numbers, I decided to link to David Carr’s NYT story yesterday about Conde Nast’s decision to do like everyone else, and inflate its “implied” advertising revenue numbers.


P.I.B. revenue figures bear little relation to a magazine’s actual advertising revenues – think one part smoke, two parts mirror – and it is hard to defend them.

The totals are calculated by multiplying the number of ad pages by the amount a magazine charges on its rate card, an immediately suspect equation because magazines routinely offer volume discounts, both those published on the rate card and those that are not. (Advertising Age, a trade publication, reported last year that the standard industry discount off the rate card was 32.1 percent.)

Michael J. Jeary, president and chief operating officer of Della Femina Rothschild Jeary & Partners, suggested that while magazine rate cards were made of Silly Putty, other media industries traffic in their own questionable metrics.

Lies, damn lies and rate cards.