By the time Woodworking magazine and its auditing company, CCAB, released Woodworking’s September 2013 Circulation Statement (NOT Audit) in August, 2014, the two had already established a concerning pattern of late reporting, misreporting, suspension and reapplication, and other serious irregularities going back to 2008, resulting in the resignation in 2010 of Wood Industry from CCAB.
In the September 2013 Report, Woodworking claimed its qualified circulation as 14,254. This so concerned sector publisher Kerry Knudsen that he wrote a letter to J. Timothy Peel citing his belief that the irregularities so seriously misrepresented Woodworking’s market as to be potentially fraudulent.
Finally, in August of 2014, CCAB released its actual Audit Report for the 12 Month Peroid Ending September 2013. This audit showed that Woodworking had reported, “1,133 copies or 7.9% on the September/October 2013 analyzed issue AND 867 copies or 6.1% duplicated copies on the March/April 2013 analyzed issue.” (Emphasis Added) The report is silent on the November/December, January/February, May/June and July/August issues.
The word “and” is a statistically functional word that means plus, for a total of 2,000. This is a certified audit. If they had meant “partially incorporated” or “including,” they would have said so, so the entire list appears to be padded by 2,000.
Similarly, in this case, “duplicated” does not mean “same address.” It means duplicated and misreported. Therefore, on its face this represents a 7.9 percent to 14 percent overpayment by advertisers on Woodworking’s overstated and discovered circulation claims.
In the next paragraph, the report wanders into assumptions we believe are designed to protect its customer. The report makes a statistical assumption to correct the problem with averaging.
However, if you look at Woodworking’s Adds and Kills (Page 1, Paragraph 2) for the claimed period, you will see there are 16 adds in May, 9 adds in July and 1,565 in September, and 1 kill in May, 9 in July and 1,629 in September. Clearly, the September issue was the one weighted with
adjustments, and was also the issue hardest hit by error. Therefore, while there may or may not be a cause-and-effect correlation between weighting and error, there is certainly no justification for averaging.
Woodworking’s former owner, CLB Media Inc., failed at least twice in 2010 to sell Woodworking, and at that time it was known Woodworking has severe circulation irregularities. At this point, it is a very fair question to ask what Woodworking is selling.
Understandably, the market has been standing by, ready to see the report on Woodworking’s March 2015 issue. As of July 20, 2015, there is no audit report, no March Brand Report and the CCAB/BPA Website says: “BPA Worldwide provided the member with a proof of their Brand Report for review and approval on May 21, 2015. The average number of days from proof date to posting date is 10 days.”