Friday, October 14, 2011
Wall Street Journal artificially inflating its sales figures?
The Wall Street Journal is facing fresh allegations of artificially inflating its sales figures, prompting the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC), the British newspaper circulation watchdog, to launch an investigation into its figures. This is yet another blow for News Corp, this time relating to the Murdoch empire’s flagship journal, Wall Street Journal Europe. The ABC had previously reviewed the Journal’s sales practices and ruled that its scheme of working with Dutch consulting firm, the Executive Learning Partnership, was “deemed to be compliant with the rules” which govern the particular practice called “multiple copy subscription sales”. As the Guardian reported on 13th October, however, “through Executive Learning Partnership and other companies, the Journal had effectively been secretly buying thousands of copies of its own paper at low prices, boosting its audited circulation. In total, 41% of the Wall Street Journal Europe's audited circulation of 75,000 came via this method.” In light of these fresh allegations, and with the resignation of Andrew Langhoff, one of Murdoch’s most senior European executives, ABC has decided to re-examine the scheme, explaining that “there now appears to be additional new information which may give grounds for further investigation."