Guardian News and Media said earlier this week that it intended to scrap its distribution of bulks – now its Media section says sales for the Telegraph and Mail titles over the past year will be ‘substantially reduced’when the Audit Bureau of Circulations releases its latest statistics this Friday, following an investigation into bulk sales.
I understand that, following the conclusion of a lengthy inquiry into bulk sales, headline circulation figures for the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, and the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday will show decreases for the months from November 2008 to April this year inclusive.
Sales of the Financial Times will also be reduced. All the papers have already taken steps to account for the disparity, so their figures for May and June were properly audited.
It is the Telegraph and Mail groups that will, in the words of one ABC member familiar with the situation, “take a real drubbing” with “substantial chunks being removed from their sales.”
His post goes on to say publishers argue that the effect on the monthly figures will be small or “virtually negligible.”
In February, the ABC ordered a review of bulks sold to airlines through wholesaler Dawson Holdings after it emerged that things may not be as they should be.
The inquiry was completed in May, but the Telegraph Media Group, Associated Newspapers and the FT group appealed, aware that the outcome would lead to a revision of their circulation figures.
At the time, an ABC council source told me that the affected companies appeared to be “in denial” about the matter.
I understand that following the ABC inquiry airlines have suggested to publishers that they would be willing to pay more to offer newspapers to their customers.