London freesheets under fire from ABC

London afternoon freesheets thelondonpaper and London Lite face being dropped from the Audit Bureau of Circulations over allegations of newspaper dumping. The move would have serious implications for advertising revenue for both titles.

ABC could revoke proof of circulation licences for thelondonpaper, which is owned by News International, and Associated News-owned London Lite as the row over distributors dumping papers escalates.The circulation body says it is monitoring the accusations of dumping closely.

Associated claims that distributors of its rival have been throwing bundles of papers away. The publisher has taken out a press advert in the trade press showing the distributors throwing papers into bins on three separate occasions. The advert has the strapline “The free paper they can’t even give away”.

It also features a retired Scotland Yard detective inspector Phillip Swinburne, which London Lite has bought in to investigate claims of dumping.

It says: “ABC takes any transgression of the reporting standards very seriously. ABC does not currently know the extent of what is being alleged and whether this relates to any publisher’s claims or ABC certified figures at this stage.”

It adds: “If anyone believes any of the rules which have been set by the ABC Council have been infringed, the ABC complaints procedure will ensure a full investigation and the details of any upheld complaints communicated.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here