Regional Publication (Newsquest (Midlands South) Ltd)
Published date: 04 May 2017
House advertisement in 23 March issue incorrectly states the number of copies delivered as 40,319 as opposed to the latest ABC figure of 38,713, incorrectly claims a circulation of 8,335 more copies than the nearest competitor, incorrectly sources the claimed circulation to ABC for the period July to Dec 2014.
Complainant: Bullivant Media Ltd
Upheld. The Worcester Journal's latest ABC circulation of 38,713 (Jan - Dec 2016) is not included as required by ABC publicity rules. The Worcester Observer's latest ABC is 41,131 (July - Dec 2016), therefore the comparison with the nearest competitor is not substantiated by ABC data and is misleading. The figure for the Worcester Journal attributed to ABC for the period July - Dec 2014 does not tie up with the ABC certified figure of 40,604 for the period Jan - Dec 2014.
The publisher apologised, stating the advertisement dated back to 2015 and appeared in the paper in error because an obsolete item had been left in the filler bank for the title. They added the item had now been disabled and steps are underway to make it easier for staff to review fillers and remove outdated time-sensitive material. No further action is required on this occasion.