Which publishers? ABC officials would not say, but it's worth noting that ABC directors from Time Inc., Condé Nast, Hachette Filipacchi and National Geographic had to recuse themselves from the votes on EBSCO and InFlight because they stood to be affected by the outcome.
Time Inc.'s Wolfe acknowledged that his company had done business with both agents but said it was "a very small number in very small fashion." He said it was unclear whether any Time Inc. titles would end up owing refunds to advertisers as a result of the disqualifications, but said it would not be more than one or two, if any.
A spokeswoman for Advance Publications (which owns Condé Nast and Fairchild Publications, parent of WWD) said, "We are studying the announcements made today by ABC. We intend to make any appropriate adjustments to our circulation and marketing programs."
But even publishers that managed to keep clear of EBSCO and InFlight may find themselves facing similar questions before long. "There's more to come," said the executive with ties to ABC. "There are other agents out there that they are looking at very seriously for the same kinds of violations, about five or six of them."