The Financial Review’s Rear Window column today reports on “red
faces” in the FPC magazine publishing offices yesterday after an
“over-enthusaistic staff member sent out magazine sales figures to a
larger than intended list.”

But the red faces weren’t just over the figures, which showed that FPC’s weekly food-and-gossip mag Fresh
was selling badly in Woolworths supermarkets (its main outlet), but
over the huge discrepancy between the figures in the email and the
official “audited” figures released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

According to the AFR, the email put Fresh’s
supermarket circulation – which is believed to constitute around 60% of
its total circulation – as “sliding from about 45,000 in January to
30,000 in late May.”

That would put the full weekly circulation of Fresh in all outlets (Woolworths supermarkets and newsagents) at around 60,000.

So what is it’s latest audited circulation figure (the one signed off by the publisher and auditor)? 103,519.

CRIKEY: When will advertisers and the ad agencies who are paid to
protect their interests realise what senior people in the print media
know from long experience – the audited ABC newspaper and magazine
figures are shonky and will only be revealed as such when there’s an
independent inquiry which can’t be influenced by the publishers?