Northern & Shell, publisher of OK! magazine has backed down over claims the celebrity title made about the circulation figure of its rival Hello!
Hello! started legal proceeding claiming malicious falsehood and infringement of trademark, against Northern & Shell in October 1998, after OK! sent a mailshot to 100,000 advertisers and agencies.
Included was a graph claiming that OK! was selling more copies than Hello!
Northern & Shell’s figures were based on information from wholesalers, not audited Audit Bureau of Circulations figures.
The trial, which was due to run for three days, was aborted on its first day, November 15, after Northern & Shell agreed to settle out of court. Hello! is now seeking damages of more than £200,000 from OK!
Hello! advertising sales and development director Jon Hum-phrey says: “Northern & Shell is used to being quite cavalier with its comments about rivals. In the future, this should ensure it checks what it says is true.”
The last ABC figures published in June show that OK! increased its circulation by 92.9 per cent year-on-year. Its circulation stands at 413,148, but Hello!’s figure is 493,322.