7Days’ first audit ‘gives us credibility’

7Days, the six days a week tabloid free sheet, has an average headline circulation figure of 64,298, according to its first audit.

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By  Tim Burrowes Published  June 26, 2005

7Days, the six days a week tabloid free sheet, has an average headline circulation figure of 64,298, according to its first audit. For the three-month period ending in March this year, the audit shows that the newspaper, which is distributed in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, delivered 53,400 copies by hand to offices, hotels, villas and apartments, with 10,898 being placed at distribution boxes in petrol stations, shopping centres and residential blocks. “It validates everything we have been saying,” said Amiji. “It gives us credibility with media agencies, advertisers and our readers. That is priceless.” Shezan Amiji, general manager at 7Days, also insisted that the paper was not up for sale, despite persistent industry rumours that the UK’s Associated Newspapers group had been approached about acquiring the title. The Khaleej Times, which has an Audit Bureau Circulation (ABC) of 72,000, is the only other newspaper in the UAE to have had its circulation verified by an independent third party. Amiji said he hoped other newspapers in the country would now follow suit. “It helps everyone. Greater levels of transparency will help the industry. We welcome competition it is a good thing. It is something that needs to happen, and it needs to happen more aggressively,” he said. Asked if 7Days would start putting out an edition on Saturday and increase its pagination ahead of competition from DRN’s new launch due in September, Amiji replied: “The business case has to make sense first and, at the moment, it doesn’t.” Dismissing suggestions that the paper was up for sale, Amiji said: “7Days is not up for sale, that is all I am going to say on it. We are committed to growing and developing this business. We have invested our heart, sole and passion into it, as well as a great deal of money.” 7Days will also mount a branding campaign starting in the third quarter of this year. Its next audit is due in October. Meanwhile, the BPA held a closed door session organised by the International Advertising Association on Wednesday night to talk to other publishing groups in the region about auditing. Glen Hansen, president and CEO of BPA Worldwide, was due to be there.

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