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Saturday, June 09, 2012
The Cork News freesheet newspaper has been suspended by the ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulations) — the industry body for circulation measurement — until it apologies to the Irish Examiner for supplying incorrect figures to an advertising agency.
ABC which is "governed by the industry, for the industry," has ruled against Cork News and Media Limited, publishers of the Cork News, for quoting invalid figures for the Irish Examiner and Cork News in a communication with an advertising agency.
ABC said in upholding its complaint against Cork News and Media Limited it had decided to suspended the registration of the Cork News for one month.
ABC said in its determination: "The Cork News must also send a letter of retraction and apology to the agency and the Irish Examiner prior to re-admission to ABC."
In making its ruling ABC also noted that the Cork News had failed to meet an ABC requirement, imposed on the Cork News following a separate and previous complaint, to obtain ABC approval for "any circulation claim or claims" prior to their publication.
Irish Examiner chief executive Tom Murphy said: "It is good to see the ABC acting as guardian of its own rules, especially with a title that has come to their attention in the recent past.
"Times are tough for everyone and it’s more important than ever that members of ABC respect that organisation’s reporting and usage rules," said Mr Murphy.
"Hopefully, the Cork News will learn the error of its ways and ensure that its communication with advertisers regarding circulation volumes are valid, correct and appropriate in future," he said.
The ABC said during its period of suspension the Cork News is not entitled to use the ABC logo or make claims of ABC membership but may use its ABC certificates and quote its ABC circulation figures in accordance with ABC publicity rules.
The ABC also noted that Cork News and Media voluntarily brought the contents of the communication to ABC’s attention after being queried about it and that the Cork News had subsequently sent a clarification to the recipient.
The ABC upheld all three elements of the complaint against the Cork News including using "a publisher statement" without including the latest ABC certified circulations as required by ABC publicity rules.
ABC also found the Cork News did not make "a fair and clear" distinction between respective types of circulation, as required by ABC publicity rules as this was a comparison between a predominately free title and a predominately paid title and that the freesheet failed to make a comparison on a like-for-like basis.
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