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Welcome to the ABM Spin Zone

American Business Media: ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ about declining revenues.


Bill Mickey By Bill Mickey
04/09/2008 -10:34 AM






Much like Bobby McFerrin's chirpy ode to blissful ignorance, ABM recently attempted to put a happy spin on its analysis of its own BIN report.

Essentially, both print ad revenue and pages ended 2007 down—not by a lot, 2 percent for revenue and 3.35 percent for pages, but down. And this after a flat 2006 in revenue and a slight decline in pages.

Now these kinds of things can be looked at from any number of angles. And no one, especially an association representing an entire industry, wants to be the bearer of bad news, much less voluntarily even touch a doomy outlook. For example, ABM notes that 13 of the 21 categories tracked showed increases in respective revenues. Fair enough. But then their analysis of the report takes it one step too far.

The computing, software, telecom category has been a freefall for the last three years, declining almost 30 percent in revenues since 2005—17.59 percent alone in 2007, according to the BIN reports.

Yet here's what ABM had to say in its analysis of the 2007 report entitled "Business-to-Business Media Experiences a Robust 2007":

"In fact, ignoring the ‘Computing, Software, Telecomm' category would result in an overall 0% change over 2006."

I love that! So why not just keep going with the other two top declining categories, business, advertising & marketing (-10.7 percent) and travel, business conventions & meetings (-6.95 percent)? I bet ignoring those as well would rocket 2007 to "robust" indeed.

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Bill Mickey By Bill Mickey -- Bill Mickey is editor of Folio:. Follow him on Twitter: @billmickey

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