January 27, 2014 Last Updated 8:36 am

AAM marks centennial year with new ad campaign, new products and services

Formerly the Audit Bureau of Circulations, association was found in in May of 1914 by group of advertisers, ad agencies and publishers

The Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) kicked off its centennial celebration today, announcing a series of member-focused events and sponsorships, the launch of a new advertising campaign, and new products and services. A new section of the AAM website was recently launched focused on the 100 years of the association.

aam_logo-300The ABC was founded in May of 1914 by advertisers let by the Association of National Advertising Managers (now the ANA), and ad agencies and publishers such as The New York Times and Chicago Tribune. The purpose was to bring accountability to circulation claims made by newspaper and magazine publishers to their advertisers and their agencies.

“AAM stands for accountability in a changing industry,” said AAM President and Managing Director Mike Lavery. “In short, AAM provides the tools necessary for advertising to efficiently be bought and sold. And consequently, AAM’s success is the success of all in the advertising and publishing industries.”

“As media and advertising have evolved over the past century, the need for transparency and accountability is more important than ever,” Bob Liodice, president of the Association of National Advertisers. “On behalf of everyone affiliated with the ANA, we are enormously proud to have founded what is today known as the Alliance for Audited Media, we congratulate them on their century’s worth of significant contributions to the advertising industry, and we continue to fully support their valuable mission.”

The AAM released a Centennial Fact Sheet along with their announcement, highlighting the history of the association and its accomplishments:


Centennial Fact Sheet

The Beginnings

The first attempts of publishing media and circulation claims date to the 1860s. But for more than 50 years, the claims were chaotic, confusing and not verified.

The Association of American Advertisers and the Association of National Advertising Managers (now the ANA) found the Audit Bureau of Circulations in May 1914. The structure of publishers, advertisers and ad agencies remains today.

ABC’s 612 founding members include 75 advertisers, 49 agencies, 337 daily newspapers, 12 weekly newspapers, 26 magazines, 61 business publications and 52 farm publications.

By 1915 the combined net paid circulation for all ABC publications is more than 64 million.

The First 50 Years

Advertising and media become big business. Fifteen years after ABC is founded, American Tobacco Co. spends $12.3 million to advertise Lucky Strikes. In 1929, this is the most ever spent on single-product advertising.

clague-featureLIFE magazine introduces the concept of photo essays in 1936 and later becomes the first magazine to carry $100 million annually in advertising.

Stanley Clague, a founder of ABC, is elected to advertising’s Hall of Fame by the Advertising Federation of America in 1950.

By 1955 ABC’s membership has grown to 3,665, with 729 advertisers, 211 agencies, 1,262 dailies, 737 weeklies, 288 magazines, 365 business titles and 71 farm publications.

The International Federation of Audit Bureax of Circulations is formed with 10 ABCs in 1963. Today the IFABC represents 36 audit bureaus around the world.

Beyond Print Circulation

From the 1970s through the end of the 20th century, circulation remains an important metric for evaluating publications, but the industry begins to shift from print to multichannel media.

In 1974 The Wall Street Journal transmits an edition by satellite from Massachusetts to New Jersey — one of the first successful newspaper and satellite tests. The Globe and Mail begins offering Info-Globe, the first commercially available full-text newspaper database, in 1977.

Advertisers are also becoming more interested in targeting consumers. In the early 1980s, ABC creates a coupon verification program for newspapers and also begins auditing circulation by ZIP code.

The Internet becomes publicly available in 1991. America Online has 200,000 subscribers to its dial-up service in 1992. Two years later AT&T places the first banner ad on HotWired.com, a digital offshoot of Wired magazine. The ad reads, “Have you ever clicked your mouse right HERE? YOU WILL.”

ABC Interactive is formed as one of the first digital media auditors in 1996. Later that year, Cahner’s Datamation is the first website to be audited by ABCi.

Today’s New World of Media

The Chicago Tribune releases the first Consolidated Media Report, which includes multimedia data for its main newspaper, targeted publications, readership and website traffic, in 2009.

GQ, Popular Science and The New York Times are among the first titles available on the iPad when it is released in April 2010.

AAM’s Media Intelligence Center is the source for reliable cross-channel media data. It houses thousands of reports for 1,200 newspapers, 600 consumer magazines and 200 business titles.

Circulation for all AAM publications is approximately 400 million.

Nearly half of the organization’s 600 founding members are with AAM today.

AAM has more than 3,000 members in 2014 and plans to add 100 new advertiser members in honor of the centennial year.

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