EPD has announced that they will be BPA-audited, hopefully starting with the September 05 issue. This means they should have a certificate available towards the end of the summer. Given that the magazine has been without any profile audit (they have had an ABC certificate) for around 1 1/2 years, this represents a big step forward for the title. The BPA audit is more demanding than ABC, and only one other UK title (Electronics Weekly) is currently audited by the BPA.

The effect of this move will be interesting. Traditionally American advertisers are thought to be more concerned about audits than European advertisers, and there are a number of major US suppliers that don’t currently use EPD. We’d expect this to change, which will impact the market share of other titles in the UK. Presumably these other titles will be looking for ways to respond to this aggressive move by the normally laid-back IML Group.

Of course getting an audit doesn’t mean that more people read the magazine: at Napier we have seen a number of independant readership studies that show readership of EPD has remained about the same as its closest competitor, New Electronics, despite the lack of a full profile audit. So the audit doesn’t automatically mean that the magazine is better at reaching the European electronics market. BUT an audit does prove that the circulation is managed effectively, and will give advertisers confidence that systems are in place to ensure readership will remain high.

Closely related to the BPA audit is the announcement that EPD will also start to offer an email list rental, and be more proactive in promoting its postal list rental capabilities.