Archant’s Photography Monthly magazine has been censured by the advertising watchdog for the second time in four months.
The Advertising Standards Authority ruled today that an email mailshot about the magazine’s relaunch sent out to prospective advertisers was inaccurate.
Bright Publishing, which owns the rival Photo Pro magazine, challenged the claim that Photography Monthly had secured “an exclusive photo mag listing in Boots” and “increased newstrade listings in independents, WHSmith travel, Somerfield, Asda [and] Sainsbury”.
It also questioned the claim that 2.6 million readers would see ads promoting the Photography Monthly relaunch running in each of Archant’s 53 Life county lifestyle magazines.
Responding to the complaint, Archant said the 2.6 million figure was a “conservative average” based on previous readership research and “market knowledge”.
The publisher also provided documents from distributors which showed the number of copies of the magazine being sold in Boots – and a list of all the other titles sold in the store to back up its “exclusive” claim.
But the ASA upheld all parts of the complaint and ordered that Archant does not use the ad again in its current form.
It said the data used to support the readership claim was not sufficient. The ASA also said it had seen no evidence that the Boots deal was exclusive or that other newsagents had increased the number of copies stocked.
“We told Photography Monthly to ensure claims were based on robust evidence in future,” the regulator said in its ruling.
This is the second time that Photo Pro magazine has successfully challenged the Archant magazine’s advertising claims.
In March, the ASA upheld a complaint about another Photography Monthly ad campaign which claimed it had a monthly readership of 90,070 based on 2.5 readers per copy.
The regulator said at the time that there was no independent data to back up this figure.