The Week: ABC announces plans to investigate freesheet dumping

The Audit Bureau of Circulations may set up a hotline for the public to report the dumping of free papers, as part of its study into the London freesheet market.

Although the auditor said it was happy with the veracity of April's figures (which revealed that thelondonpaper handed out 491,387 copies to London Lite's 400,212), it announced a four-point action plan to solve the problem of dumping.

As well as introducing a hotline, the regulator aims to increase spot-checks on distributors and plans to conduct an ongoing review of distribution methods. It is also demanding the publishers increase internal controls. The news comes after Associated Newspapers and News International, publishers of London Lite and thelondonpaper, accused each other of dumping copies by posting video evidence on YouTube and through advertising in the trade press.

ABC said:"Having identified the risks with hand distribution, we have been working on improving the publisher/management controls."