The women’s magazine division of Media24 will be investigated by the
Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) in connection with the inflation of
circulation figures for seven of its 12 titles, writes Borrie La Grange in The Times.

A routine audit by the bureau — which monitors publications’ sales figures, vital for wooing advertisers — raised suspicions about the company’s claimed circulation figures for its women’s magazines True Love Babe, InStyle SA, True Love, Leef, Fair Lady, Sarie and True Love Bride.

Media24 Magazines chief executive, Patricia Scholtemeyer, said the company was conducting an internal investigation of its women’s magazine division.

“There is also a broader investigation, in which we are looking at other areas as well, just in case.

“I can’t explain exactly what the reason for the irregularities is because the full results of the investigation are not yet known.”

She said the company would meet “one-on-one” with advertisers “to smooth things over”.

Scholtemeyer said Media24 had not withheld information from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

The Times reported yesterday that the bureau had suspended seven Media24 titles from accreditation and their circulation certificates had been withdrawn.

It has also asked for an audit of the sales figures of all 60 Media24 magazines. Each audit could cost between R30000 to R60000 and Media24 will have to foot the bill.

Gordon Patterson, vice-president of the bureau and a member of the Advertising Media Forum, said the bureau’s spot audits on the stable’s newest magazines, True Love Babe and InStyle SA, found that their sales figures were inflated by more than 40percent between October last year and March.

Click here to read the full report, posted on The Times website.