The following is a press statement issued on 11 October 2007 by Julia Raphaely on behalf of MPASA, in connection with the Media24 magazine circulation irregularities.
Following a board meeting of the Magazine Publishers Association of South Africa (MPASA), during which the recent irregularities reported by the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) regarding some of Media24’s magazine titles were discussed, MPASA board has issued the following statement:
MPASA strongly condemns non-compliance by any member of the ABC’s rules and regulations or of MPASA’s code of conduct. In particular, MPASA emphasises the need to be open, transparent, clear and truthful with regard to the reporting of circulation figures.
MPASA recognizes that, following its circulation irregularities, Media24 initiated a full forensic audit and has taken significant internal action. MPASA is, however, extremely concerned that Media24 does not have better internal audit and control practices in place to ensure that these irregularities should not occur in the first instance, and hopes that these are now in place to ensure that this will not occur again.
In the strongest possible terms, MPASA will reiterate to Media24 the company’s responsibilities both to MPASA and to the magazine industry. MPASA has also restated the conditions now imposed by the ABC on the suspended titles.
Having been suspended by the ABC, the following titles have also been *deregistered from MPASA until further notice and have been withdrawn from the forthcoming PICA awards. The suspended titles are: InStyle, True Love, True Love Babe, True Love Bride, Fairlady, Lééf, Sarie, Men’s Health, Sports Illustrated, Shape, KickOff, and The Wisden Cricketer.
As the full audit into the irregularities is an ongoing matter, the MPASA board has expressed its total support for the ABC while it completes its full audit of all Media24 magazine titles and those of its associate magazine companies. The board recognizes the important work that has been completed to date.
When the ABC has finalised its audit, the MPASA board will reconvene to discuss the results of the complete audit. It will address what further action regarding Media24 is appropriate.
In the interim, Patricia Scholtemeyer remains the chairperson of MPASA. Owing to a conflict of interest in terms of Scholtemeyer’s roles as the chairperson of MPASA and CEO of Media24 Magazine Division, in relation to theses matters, the deputy chairperson of MPASA, Julia Raphaely, has been mandated by the board to chair matters relating to the ABC at any further board meetings regarding the irregularities, and to act as the board-appointed spokesperson for MPASA in issues relating to the ABC.
MPASA represents the magazine industry as a fully representative body; among its objectives is the promotion of a code of conduct for the publishing of magazines in South Africa.
* Note: The ABC has suspended these titles and withdrawn their certificates. The MPASA Articles of Association require member publishers to register titles with the Association. Each title must have a valid ABC certificate. Without this ABC certificate, the titles are automatically deregistered from MPASA.
Latest stories in Media News: