News International Newspapers have fired off a series of letters of complaint over bulk sales by the Mirror Group.
Letters have been sent to the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the Newspaper Publishers Association and the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers.
In the letters, Ian Weston, circulation director of News International, appeals to the ABC to review the Mirror’s bulk sales claims.
He also asks media buyers and publishers to join NI in supporting further restrictions in bulk sales.
Weston writes that the proposed revisions to ABC rules on bulk sales “will not act as an effective barrier to manipulation of sales”.
The Mirror is currently running sampling exercises through Ladbrokes, but Mirror managing director Roger Eastoe says that “footfall” measuring systems are in place.
Eastoe says: “The Mirror’s sampling level is lower this year in March compared to this time last year.
“This is NI trying to take the heat away from the level of underlying decline in circulation of The Sun,” he says.
He claims that ABC circulation figures for The Sun are down by more than 280,000 for March.