OLD Media Moves

WSJ Europe circulation review called a “whitewash”

January 4, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

Roy Greenslade of the Guardian in London calls the Audit Bureau of Circulation review of The Wall Street Journal Europe’s circulation a “whitewash” that ignores its real issues.

Greenslade writes, “It would appear that the ABC’s ‘thorough review’ was narrower in scope than the phrase suggests. The result: a limited, technical and equivocal finding.

“It is also opaque. It described the ‘payment arrangements’ for a large bulk sales contract as ‘complex and at times circuitous’ but tacitly accepted that it was ok. We were not told about the circuit itself.

“No mention also of the name of the Dutch company that entered into the contract with the paper: Executive Learning Partnership (ELP).

“So Dow Jones, predictably, turned reality on its head by issuing its own self-satisfied statement in which it talked of its transparency and trumpeted about the validity of WSJE’s circulation deals.

“Anyway, we knew from the outset that the ABC regarded Dow Jones as not having breached its rules. What we wanted to know was the way in which the News Corporation publisher sailed close to the wind. What were the exact arrangements?”

Read more here.

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