Motorcycle News test was misleading, rules PCC

The Press Complaints Commission has upheld a complaint that a newspaper article that tested the safety of motorcycle chains was unfair to a manufacturer.

Maxine Simpson, director of Almax Security Chains Limited, complained to the PCC that two articles published in Motorcycle News on 19 July 2006, headlined ‘Nine out of ten locks fail MCN’and ‘Gone in 37 seconds”, were inaccurate and misleading, a breach of clause one (accuracy) of the PCC’s Code of Practice. Simpson said the test – carried out by an ‘ex-thief’– was misleading, because although the article said hand tools were used, it was not specific about which ones, making the newspaper’s rating of each lock misleading.

Motorcycle News said that it was not specific about the tools to avoid encouraging criminality.

The PCC said in its adjudication: ‘While the Commission understood the newspaper’s reticence to reveal precisely how each lock was breached for reasons of security, it concluded that the presentation of the test conditions may have misled readers.”

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