ABC UK rules out a Middle East return

The Audit Bureau of Circulation UK has denied it is planning a return to the Middle East, despite suggestions that the firm was being actively lobbied to re-enter the market.

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By  Tim Addington Published  June 11, 2006

The Audit Bureau of Circulation UK has denied it is planning a return to the Middle East, despite suggestions that the firm was being actively lobbied to re-enter the market. The circulation auditing firm officially quit the Middle East at the start of this month, claiming it could no longer invest the time and resources to the region. But Marwan Rizk, area director for the International Advertising Association, said that he had contacted the London-based company in an attempt to persuade them to keep operating in the Middle East. He said: “We are trying to get the ABC UK to come back to the region, and everyone else is trying to get them back. It is healthy for the market to have them back.” ABC UK’s pull out has left BPA Worldwide as the only auditing body currently active in the region, but some publishers have expressed concern that the decision leaves them with no choice but to be audited by the BPA. But a statement from ABC UK dismissed claims it was contemplating a return to the region, despite Rizk’s comments last week. It said: “ABC UK announced its decision to cease offering print audits in the Middle East for clear strategic reasons based upon the investment that it would need to put up to service the evolving, growing market in the future. “At the same time as taking this decision, ABC UK stated that the Middle East market would be best served by establishing its own, regionally-based ABC that would be able to provide the market with local rules, based upon global standards, drawn up by local buyers and sellers of advertising. ABC UK, as one of the most experienced media auditing bureaus in the world, also stated that it would be willing to work with advertisers and media owners in the region to assist in establishing an ABC in the region in order to handle the growing demand for print audits.”

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