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Audit Bureau of Circulations
Founded14 October 1931
FounderISBA (Society of British Advertisers)
FocusNewspaper and magazine circulation

The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) is a non-profit organisation owned and developed by the media industry. ABC delivers industry-agreed standards for media brand measurement of print publications, digital channels and events. The company also verifies data, processes and good practice to these and other industry-agreed standards (such as those set by JICWEBS[1]).

Established in 1931 by the Society of British Advertisers (an organisation which later became ISBA[2]), ABC is a founder member of the International Federation of ABCs[3] and was the first UK Joint Industry Currency (JIC) for the media industry. JICs are owned by the industry to provide transparent and independent audience measurement for each medium.[4]

In May 2020, the board of the ABC voted to allow national newspaper publishers the option to ‘opt out’ of reporting their circulation figures publicly.[5]


ABC is governed by a board consisting of advertisers, media agencies, media owners and trade bodies. They represent the differing interests of the media industry, agree new standards and make strategic decisions as to how ABC is run.

Reporting Standards Group

ABC has Reporting Standards Groups (RSGs) responsible for setting reporting standards for media products across each of the following sectors: national, regional, consumer, business, bulk distribution and Republic of Ireland.

RSGs include representatives from media owners, media buyers and trade associations and typically meet three times a year. Changes to the Reporting Standards are generally agreed by consensus.


Derek Morris was announced as ABC UK's new chairman in October 2016 and took up the position in December of that year. He replaced Sally Cartwright who had chaired the board since 2010.[6]

Chief Executive

Simon Redlich has been the permanent CEO of ABC UK since 25 November 2016.[7] He was previously announced as the interim CEO in January 2016,[8] replacing Jerry Wright who stepped down from the role after more than seven years.


Media brand measurement

As a JIC, ABC creates census based trading standards to accurately reflect media activity across print and digital platforms.[9] It then provides independent verification of media owner data to these standards. This data and related information is shown on the media owner's ABC Certificate and can also be viewed and sorted using digital tables. All visitors to the ABC website can search for and download a current certificate. This transparency and availability of data helps to facilitate the buying and selling of advertising space.[10]

Verification service

ABC is an independent verification provider for other media industry organisations including JICWEBS,[11] the EDAA and Counter for example. ABC's role is to check that media companies are meeting the standards set by these other organisations.


ABC publishes a range of data reports across a number of industry sectors.


  1. ^ "JICWEBS Certification". JICWEBS. 26 September 2017. Archived from the original on 8 March 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  2. ^ "About Us". ISBA. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  3. ^ "About Us". IFABC. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  4. ^ "A Matter of Fact". IPA. 1 June 2017. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  5. ^ "ABC introduces new reporting options for newsbrands – 21.05.20 – ABC | Audit Bureau of Circulations". Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  6. ^ "ABC announces new Chairman designate". Research Live. 27 October 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  7. ^ "CEO for ABC announced". ABC. 25 November 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Simon Redlich to become interim ABC Chief Executive". Campaign. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  9. ^ "How do you measure a paper publisher's true digital value?". The New European. 8 September 2017. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Consumer ABCs: Industry analysis". Mediatel. 12 August 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  11. ^ "JICWEBS introduce anti-fraud certification". Campaign. 26 September 2017. Retrieved 8 March 2018.