Guardian News & Media is to immediately cease the distribution of “bulks”, newspapers that are sold for a small fee to hotels and airlines to give to customers.
The Guardian will drop 12,000 bulks, which according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations usually form 3.9 per cent of its monthly sale, while the Observer will ditch 20,000 bulk copies, 5.1 per cent of headline sales.
Guardian.co.uk said this morning, GNM’s aim was to “abandoned its practice of using bulks to tempt new readers to sample the Guardian and Observer” and to “increase openness in the marketplace”.
“To a greater or lesser degree bulk sales are used by newspaper groups to prop up their ABC figure,” said Joe Clark, the GNM director and general manager for newspapers. “Yet their credibility in the ad community is low and for those affected by the recent investigation into airline bulks that credibility has been undermined further.”
Clark said GNM was abandoning the practice to “present a clearer, more honest picture of our sales performance to advertisers and to reinforce the quality of our product to readers.”
The move comes after an investigation by the ABC, in March, into the bulk circulation figures being claimed by some newspaper groups using distributor Dawson Media, the findings have yet to be made public.
ABC national newspaper circulation figures for July are due to be published on Friday.