Zhenji did realize that its customers in the Bordeaux area (see references) were asking themselves many questions about their chinese advertisements
Most of the time, it is the extreme opacity of the concerned media that is to blame as well as a lack of knowledge of the local media landscape.
What is worth knowing about the publication number:
Whatever they are (charged or free, sold in newsstands, sent to databasis or put in some strategic spot like a hotel, a tasting house or a restaurant) all chinese media are subjected to censoring so that their publication number is nothing else but a publishing permit. A publication number, french (isbn) or coming from any other part of the world, becomes illicit in China so that this kind of medium will not be distributed through the country, especially in wellknown hotels, restaurants or tasting houses which reject them systematically.
Only a few magazines, those which are sent to some VIP databasis, can break this rule: Poh Tiong, a singaporean journalist, is enjoying this exemption as it is sent to amators of wine and not placed in hotels.
What is worth knowing about the press circulation figures:
In China, one must divide by four the announced circulation figures. We have it on good authority that, in women’s magazines, the market leader which pretends to have a print run of 900.000 copies does not actually exceed 200.000; but, in this country, inflating is almost a national sport… This principle must be applied to every chinese magazines apart from those submitted to you by Zhenji where the calculation has been done already.
Real exception on these inflating figures are the media from the Hong Kong BluInc Group as China Boating, Asia Spa, Polo, Luxury Properties and Jet Asia Pacific which correspond to the announced figures. Said to be most effective market niches, they are delivered by subscription and mostly to some very wealthy people in China. These media are the most efficient on the HNWI small world.
Influential media on the vintage wines market: