Anand Bazaar Patrika is not very receptive of the latest notification issued by the Audit Bureau of Circulation. The media major from the East has filed a writ against ABC with the Kolkata High Court. The directive in question is the Notification 734 – the revised version of Notification 733, issued by the bureau.
ABC’s Notification 733 issued new guidelines about trade practices. Clauses in the notification, among other things, effected changes in the kind of gifts and discounts that a publication was allowed in the trade. Industry sources inform that the writ was filed initially for this notification. The clause on offering gifts to subscribers in Notification 733, states, ‘A publisher may offer gifts to subscribers subject to an overall limit of 90% of the cover price which includes discounts, gifts or incentives as well as cost of distributing a publication to its subscribers.’ As per the earlier guidelines, this limit could not exceed 50%.
Even as the case was still in the court, ABC issued the revised version in form of Notification 734, which, as per industry sources, is a tweaked version of Notification 733.
However, as the sources say, ABP doesn’t agree with the changes in the revised version either and hence the revised version would also come under the court’s scrutiny. Hearing on the matter culminated on Friday, August 13, and the verdict on the same is expected this week.
On being contacted, while ABP officials confirm that the court is moved and the matter being subjudice, they refused to comment on the developments. ABC officials cite the same reason not to comment on the matter at all.