NI demands a release of daily sales figures

News International has taken a dramatic step towards greater trading transparency as it approaches a final resolution of its dispute over circulation figures with the Telegraph Group and the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

News International has taken a dramatic step towards greater

trading transparency as it approaches a final resolution of its dispute

over circulation figures with the Telegraph Group and the Audit Bureau

of Circulations.



NI is prepared to make available to advertisers its daily circulation

data as long as rival titles do the same, David Walsh, the deputy ad

director of Times Newspapers, told a conference hosted by the

communications specialist, AMCO, last week.



At the conference for media owners and advertisers, Walsh said: ’News

International will face the day-of-week circulation issue. We are

committed to greater transparency, but let’s not get into information

overload.’



However, he warned that should newspapers publish day-of-week sales,

there would be the issue of how special days were charged.



Len Sanderson, the deputy managing director and advertising director of

the Telegraph, said his group had published daily circulation figures

until 18 months ago, but no-one was interested. He added: ’I don’t think

News International intends to publish day-of-week sales.’



The legal dispute between the Telegraph, NI and the ABC on how lesser

and full- rate sales are categorised in ABC circulation figures is

drawing to a close, with the High Court case being adjourned until

Monday when a settlement is likely to be made. An agreement has been

reached in principle by all parties, following the Telegraph’s

suggestion to include a fourth category for subscriptions (Campaign,

last week). The new category will be included in the June circulation

figures which will be released on Friday.



On 6 August, the ABC Council will meet with Newspaper Publishers

Association members and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising to

begin a comprehensive review of ABC Audit rules.



Media buyers welcomed an end to the dispute which would allow the ABC to

concentrate on other issues and were keen to see daily circulation

figures. Mike Wood, the head of J. Walter Thompson’s media arm, said:

’There is a demand from media buyers for day-to-day figures. ABC

circulation can vary from one day to the next.’



Media Forum, page 12.



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