Esquire: circulation marked down
The National Magazine Company is reissuing Audit Bureau of Circulations' certificates for nine of its titles, after infringing the rules surrounding bulks.
Multiple sales figures for Esquire, Best, Good Housekeeping, House Beautiful, Prima, Prima Baby, She, Your Home and Zest have been reduced by up to 11% for the January to June 2002 period.
The magazines affected were given away free with paid-for newspapers including The Independent, The Times and a number of regional titles.
A rule change means that titles packaged as such are no longer eligible for inclusion as multiple sales.
NatMags was unaware that it was infringing the rules and appealed the decision at every level.
Its managing director Duncan Edwards said: "We were told that we misinterpreted the rules, but there appears to be inconsistencies in the way different types of bulks are categorized."
NatMags has reissued the certificates for titles affected, which shows changes to the multiple sales totals only.
Most severely affected are Prima Baby, its ABC figure is now 11.4%, down from 61,332 to 54,352; Zest, whose reissued figure has been marked down 10% to 106,375 and Esquire, down 9.4% from 62,005 to 56,172.
The news throws further question on the ABC's bulk sales rules, which are in the process of being amended following a series of infringements.
Last year, Emap reissued a number of its ABC certificates after discovering it had infringed multiple sales rules and declared an end to bulking within the group.
But media owners and agencies are calling for further clarity in the rules, which contain a number of ambiguities.