Stephen Hollings, chairman of the newspaper and magazine circulation
body the Audit Bureau of Circulations, has finally emerged from his
bunker to respond to Crikey’s two-month-long requests for comments.

In a long and self-serving letter (below), Hollings denies any link
between the ABC’s “review of auditing procedures” and Crikey’s six
month expose of widespread rorting of audited circulations by
Australian newspaper and magazine publishers. The genesis of the ABC’s
review “predates by many months the unsubstantiated allegations that
have appeared in Crikey,” says Hollings.

CRIKEY: Not impressed, Stephen. Until you install an independent
inspector who has nothing to do with the ABC or the industry – unlike
the “independent” auditors who are appointed by the ABC, depend on
information provided by the publishers, and cannot possibly be expected
to spend the time or gain the access needed to uncover rorts which were
specifically designed to mislead independent auditors – the spectre of
rorting won’t be removed.

Just look to the US to see what circulation fraud looks like.