'Best-selling' strapline forced off Mini World

 IPC specialist car title MiniWorld has had to redesign its cover and remove a strapline claiming it is Britain’s biggest-selling monthly magazine for Mini owners.

The move follows a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority from A&S Publishing, which owns its direct rival, Mini Magazine.

The complaint objected to the claim on the front cover and an advertisement inside the magazine which stated MiniWorld was "The Original And Best-Selling Monthly for the Mini".

Although MiniWorld withdrew from the ABC in 1999, the title has continued to carry the strapline for almost a year.

Marianne Wulkan, circulation manager at A&S Publishing, said: "We have increased our market share year-

on-year to a point where we now believe we are selling more or less the same as MiniWorld, so we took advice from the Periodical Publishers Association and it felt that we had cause to complain."

IPC claimed that the statement was based on news trade sales figu-

res collated by their distributor compared with the figures for Mini Magazine, supplied by WHSmith Wholesale.

IPC argued that the figures represented sales for about 40 per cent of the retail market and provided a table of last year’s sales.

The ASA said it understood that each publisher had a distributor contracted to supply magazines to the wholesaler. IPC’s distributor was Marketforce while MiniWorld’s distributor was Seymour.

Although WHSmith Wholesale represented about 40 per cent of retail market sales, the ASA said it did not represent 40 per cent of each distributor’s magazine sales.

The ASA said that in 1998 Seymour had renegotiated its wholesale contract with WHSmith, whose news data represented less than 30 per cent only on average of sales of all Seymour titles, including Mini Magazine.

The ASA concluded that IPC had not substantiated its claim that the title was the best selling monthly for the Mini.

It said that IPC had used MiniWorld’s total sales figures to the news trade and compared them with WHSmith Wholesale’s figures for Mini Magazine, representing less than 30 per cent of its sales, grossed up to account for the whole market.

 

By Ruth Addicott

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