Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Telegraph poles

Simon Waldman, The Guardian's digital media chief, has hit back at the Telegraph's number one website claim.

He tackles the whole web auditing business in detail and if you were ever a little shaky on what exactly means (and why it matters) what then you should be reading it.

His piece comes in response to the claim that the Telegraph started talking up late last year in a £300,000 ad campaign created by Clemmow Hornby Inge. If you've sat on a Tube recently you've probably found it hard to miss the ads from the Telegraph Group proclaiming that, according to figures from internet monitor Hitwise, had the most amount of visitors of any quality UK newspaper website between July and September 2006.

Of course, anyone who knows even very little about web stats knows that Hitwise figures are not quoted by publishers when it comes to auditing their websites or selling advertising on them.

However, the problem is that because there are multiple currencies in use it’s confusing and allows people like the Telegraph to come out and say "We're number one (according to someone or other)".

So why are the Telegraph using them you ask? It’s a good question. If you're not the number one or even number two, er, or even number three newspaper (ouch) and someone shows someone within your organisation figures showing you're suddenly an all-conquering number one, then I think someone, who really shouldn't be allowed to, starts making stupid decisions – resulting in £300k ad campaigns.

The campaign has clearly irked a number of people because complaints have been made to the Advertising Standards Authority about the Britain's No.1 quality newspaper website claim.

You might wonder how the Telegraph managed it, when in November the ABC Electronic had Guardian Unlimited with 13,841,182 users, followed by the Times Online with 9,028,963 and The Sun Online 7,578,042. had 6,374,362.

Going from 4th to 1st would be something of an achievement. Who knows maybe the silver surfers, (no not the Marvel one) have suddenly gone web crazy, allowing the Telegraph to soar.

Waldman writes: "Initially, I thought this was just a marketing wheeze - just to put themselves back in the frame. But word gets back that they really believe it. There has been a complaint to the ASA (not from me, I should add), and ultimately it will be their call whether this is legal, honest and decent etc. But, in the meantime, I think it probably makes most sense to have a look at the figures in a bit of detail here and let people make their own mind up.

"And yes before I get going, the big question is does it matter anyway? But I’ll get to that at the end."

Read the rest of Simon's piece here.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home