Yellow Book to Disclose Audit Data

Just got a press release in my inbox from Yellow Book announcing that it would begin publicly disclosing audited circulation figures for all its directories with distribution greater than 100,000.

In the release, Yellow Book makes the claim that it is “the first major Yellow Pages publisher to transparently audit and disclose its circulation figures.”

Experience has taught me to be wary of “first” and “best” claims, so I did some quick checking and confirmed that Yellow Book is the first to disclose such data, though other publishers may follow similar auditing practices.

Yellow Book is using Certified Audit of Circulations to conduct its audits. Importantly, Yellow Book is disclosing the data through the CAC Web site, rather than its own site, which would have exposed Yellow Book to suspicions of interfering with the integrity of the data.

Yellow Book’s announcement comes in the context of a longstanding desire of U.S. national advertisers and certified marketing representatives to have publishers independently audit and disclose circulation for their directories, arguing that other media invest in independent confirmation of their circulation figures.

Clearly, Yellow Book hopes to get out ahead of its competitors by embracing audits, and score points with the national advertiser community. Yellow Book followed a similar tack a few years ago when it embraced a return to syndicated usage research, another pet cause of CMRs and national advertisers.

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