The Audit Bureau of Circulations was cast back into the spotlight
this week as the Telegraph group lodged a complaint against the Times’
on-going 10p Monday sale.
The move is the latest in a series of complaints and counter-complaints
to the ABC by the Telegraph and its rival, Times Newspapers.
In a letter from its solicitors, the Telegraph claims that the Times’
10p Monday issue is not a ’sale’ as it makes no positive financial
return to the publisher. Under the ABC rules it cannot, therefore, be
included in the Times’ circulation figures at either full or lesser
In September, the Times introduced a scheme to get around ABC rules,
whereby newsagents received 8p from the sale but were refunded a further
3p from the marketing budget.
The Telegraph complaint follows one from the Times in January, relating
to the inclusion of discounted subscription sales in the Telegraph’s
full sales ABC figure. The dispute, in which both publishers have
threatened the ABC with writs, led the body to review its
Chris Haslum, the deputy managing director at the Telegraph, said: ’We
feel that what the Times is doing is a sham.’
Toby Constantine, the marketing director at Times Newspapers, said: ’On
a tit-for-tat basis, the Telegraph has decided to challenge our 10p
Ray Hall, the general manager of the ABC, said it would look at the
Meanwhile, the Sunday Times and Conde Nast have joined forces in a
voucher promotion to offer Sunday Times readers a free magazine,
The promotion is backed by TV and point-of-sale advertising.