ABC in fresh row over bulk selling

News International has opened a fresh wound in the newspaper publishing market by formally challenging an allegedly ’cynical’ bulk sales tactic used by its rival, Mirror Group, last week.

News International has opened a fresh wound in the newspaper

publishing market by formally challenging an allegedly ’cynical’ bulk

sales tactic used by its rival, Mirror Group, last week.



The move put renewed pressure on the Audit Bureau of Circulations, which

is in the final throes of revising the rules for calculating national

newspaper circulations in the wake of NI’s 1996 row over bulk sales with

the Telegraph Group.



Ian Weston, the circulation director of NI, has fired off letters to the

ABC, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, the Newspaper

Publishers Association and the Incorporated Society of British

Advertisers, voicing concern at the level of Mirror Group’s bulk sales

activity last week. He also lambasts the Mirror for ’a cynical and

manipulative attempt to distort reported sales figures’.



From last Thursday to Saturday, a Mirror promotion with Ladbrokes

involved a bulk sale of more than 400,000 copies, according to

unofficial estimates.



Roger Eastoe, the deputy managing director of Mirror Group, said: ’We’ve

done this before and there is nothing unusual.’



Bob Wootton, director of media and advertising affairs at ISBA, said: ’I

hope we are not entering a new game of hardball with the ABC as the

ball. The damage done to the ABC’s credibility last time was not

inconsiderable.’



Weston has asked the ABC to exclude the Mirror’s bulk sales from last

week and to confirm that the new rules would invalidate them.



His remonstrations came as the ABC announced that the final agreed

revision for multiple and bulk circulation figures would be in place

from 29 June.



Publishers have agreed on various ceilings for different forms of bulk

sales. Hotel sales and direct mailings are still under discussion.



Ray Hall, the chief executive of the ABC, said that he could not take

any decision until NI specified the nature of the bulk sale and the

grounds on which they should be excluded.



Topics

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).