Alpha Media Group has been contacted by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) in regards to claims made on their titles last week in what they say is a 'misrepresentation of ABC or their data.'
In editions of the local newspaper on 23rd September a strapline on the front page read "The latest ABC audited figures for circulation in the six months ending 30 June 2021 confirm 28,014 for each issue of Irish News and 9,505 for the News Letter. The Belfast Telegraph provided no figures. In the same period Alpha Media -of which this title is one - sold 30,519 issues per week which is an increase compared to the same period last year."
Based on public information, Alpha Media Group has not been an audited ABC publication since 2008. ABC further confirmed that they have not certified any circulations related to titles in their publication on 23rd September (page 13) since that time.
In response to the investigation Martin Hackett, Director of Standards (ABC) said “ABC has not audited any Alpha Media Group Newspapers since 2008, including Tyrone Constitution, Your Lurgan, Strabane Weekly News, Ballymena Guardian, Antrim Guardian, Coleraine Chronicle, Ballymoney Chronicle, Ballycastle Chronicle, Limavady Northern Constitution, The County Down Outlook, Ulster Gazette and Armagh Standard, Newry Democrat, Dungannon News & Tyrone Courier, Mid-Ulster Courier.
“We’ve contacted Alpha Media Group to highlight the importance of making clear the distinction between ABC certified data and unaudited data, and to advise they cease presenting claims in this manner.”