Associated Newspapers is to write down the Daily Mail’s circulation figures for January 2000 by more than 70,000 after an investigation by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
The move follows complaints by two rival newspaper groups, understood to be Mirror Group Newspapers and Express Newspapers, over a 10p copy price promotion in the North-west of England which took place in January.
Copies were distributed through the newstrade, but the ABC ruled that the Daily Mail misinterpreted the lesser rate sales rules. Copies sold for a value below the combined margin for retailer and wholesale cannot be included in the ABC figures.
Mail Newspapers circulation director Mike Newman says: “The combined two margins came to more than 10p and therefore they fell foul of the rules.”
The reissue reduces the January 2000 circulation figure by an average 73,974 copies for the promotion period of January 10-14. The revised average sale per issue for January is 2,353,914, down from 2,427,888.
The ABC says the January National Newspapers report and the six-monthly average figures in the February report are incorrect.