Magazine publishing giant Media24 has pulled the plug on two of its
magazines which, three months ago, were caught up in a massive
sales-figures scam, writes Borrie La Grange in The Times.

The company announced at the weekend that it had closed down InStyle and The Wisden Cricketer because the magazines were no longer considered to be commercially viable.

Media24 Magazines owns 60 titles, including You, Huisgenoot and Drum, and claims to sell more than 5.9million magazines a month.

In September, Media24 was forced to restate the circulation figures for its women’s titles True Love Babe, InStyle SA, True Love, Leef, Fair Lady, Sarie and True Love Bride after a routine audit uncovered inflated circulation figures. Circulation figures are used to woo advertisers.

InStyle SA, the publisher’s newest title, had its sales figures pushed up by as much as 45.9percent for measured six-month periods.

After the discovery of the scam, Media24’s women’s magazine division was forced to undertake a massive independent audit of the sales figures of all its magazines, which led to the discovery of similar, but smaller, circulation inflations at the Touchline Media titles Men’s Health, Sports Illustrated, Shape, The Wisden Cricketer and Kick Off.

All 12 affected magazine titles were then suspended by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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