- The Mirror just managed to fend off the Daily Mail in the battle to be Britain's second biggest selling newspaper last month, but only thanks to bulk sales of nearly 44,000.
The latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations figures put the Mirror just 11,655 copies ahead of the Mail. Without the ballast of bulks, however, the Mirror fell behind with an average daily full rate circulation of 2,123,244 compared to 2,123,765 for the Mail.
The ABC decided to include Mirror Group's three day bulk sales promotion with Ladbrokes, which ran from 26 March for three days, despite News International's allegations that it was a "cynical" bulk sales deal which went against the newspaper market's recent efforts at greater transparency.
Ray Hall, chief executive of ABC, said that although News International had challenged the inclusion of this bulk sale in March's ABCs, it qualified within the old ABC rules which will be in play until the end of June.
"Our priority was to make sure the figures went out last week, and those copies under the Ladbrokes promotion were liable under the old rules. We are now addressing the second question of whether it would be allowed under the new rules. We'd like to discuss it with the Mirror Group, as well as News International."
The market-leading Sun's overall circulation figure came to 3,767,820 for March, up 1.3 per cent month on month, but down just over five per cent year on year.
The daily broadsheets performed well, with the exception of The Times, which recorded a fall in circulation of just over 3.3 per cent to 783,852. Year on year however, The Times' circulation was up by just under three per cent. The Financial Times continues to turn in healthy circulation figures with a 1.67 increase in circulation month on month and a 12.8 percent year on year growth to 359,458.