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Times Media clarifies Sunday Times circulation

Times Media has noted the recent statement issued by the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) regarding the reclassification of a portion of the Sunday Times circulation for the period July 2014 to June 2015.

The ABC conducts regular check audits to ensure that circulation numbers are classified correctly for the purpose of quarterly ABC reporting.

Following a recent check audit, Times Media was alerted by the ABC that a newspaper deal pertaining to approximately 12,500 copies of the Sunday Times had been incorrectly classified as Business subscriptions.

It is important to note that the copies are not being questioned as to their actual delivery or use, but on the basis of a contract that was not directly aligned with ABC rules.

Andy Gill, Managing Director for Times Media explains that, “Times Media management met with the ABC Board to debate the re-classification of the copies as Third-party Bulk, since there was no debate as to whether the copies were distributed and received by the intended recipients. The decision by the ABC Board was however that the copies should be classified as Voucher copies and we will abide by the decision.”

Although the 12,500 weekly copies of the Sunday Times will now be classified differently and will subsequently not be reported as part of its Core circulation figures, the newspaper has continued to grow its readership.

Readership of other weekly newspapers has declined by 1.3%, yet the Sunday Times’ reader base has grown by 8.8% year-on-year (AMPS 2015BA vs AMPS 2014BA - Jul14-Jun15 vs Jul13-Jun14)

Similarly compared to the previous six-month measurement, other weekly newspapers have contracted by 0.8%, while the Sunday Times' readership has grown by 7% (AMPS 2015BA vs AMPS 2014AB - Jul14-Jun15 vs Jan-Dec14).

“We will continue to innovate to grow the footprint of our titles and seek new readers and build value for our advertisers,” says Trevor Ormerod, GM Sales & Marketing, Times Media. “Through distribution we will always look to access new markets and develop readership.”