NI government to demand audited figures

The government of Northern Ireland is recommending in a draft report
that it will not advertise in newspapers that are not independently
audited.

The move would affect newspapers across the region, including the Ulster Gazette and Armagh Observer.

A
spokesman for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy of the First
Minister said: “Currently, government does not insist on ABC figures
from weekly papers before it advertises.

“A recommendation in the
draft report is that government will only advertise in publications
with independently audited circulation figures.

This should be an industry-recognised audit, such as ABC.

“Weekly
newspapers would be given six months from the publication of the final
report to put in place independent audited circulation.”

Robert
Ray, marketing director of regional newspaper body the Newspaper
Society, said: “The media world has to be accountable and we would
encourage all papers to have audited figures.”

The draft report is available at www.ofmdfmni.gov.uk/advertising.

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