Free Press Journal warns against inflating print circulation figures through print ad

On January 1, FPJ published a full-page ad issuing a stern warning to news publishers, urging them to refrain from inflating circulation figures

BestMediaInfo Bureau
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Free Press Journal warns against inflating print circulation figures through print ad

On January 1, the front page of the Free Press Journal, an English daily, prominently displayed a full-page advertisement. The message within the advertisement served as a stern warning to news publishers, urging them to avoid inflating circulation figures.

The advertisement read, “Caution, news publishers. Please refrain from financing raddi copies with complimentary copies. Else one day, one day in the near future your companies will be reduced to the status of ‘Raddi Pvt Ltd’. Hope wiser counsel will prevail. Kindly don’t create raddi value for your shareholders. Let honesty prevail from the new year.”

Through this ad, FPG strives to enhance transparency and credibility within the print industry. They aim to shed light on the common practice among news publishers of selling unsold copies to scrap dealers.

According to FPJ, this approach allows print publishers to categorise these unsold copies as 'complimentary copies,' to balance their financial records. Ultimately, this practice is expected to result in a long-term decline in advertising within the print medium.

In an exclusive conversation with BestMediaInfo, Abhishek Karnani, Director, The Free Press Journal, said, “Some publication houses have been misleading advertisers by showing inflated circulation figures which included copies not being sold to readers.  The modus operandi which they have been using has been to sell the copies unsold in depots directly to those who buy raddi copies. In this process, they show some of the extra unsold copies as ‘complimentary copies’ to balance the books.”

Furthermore, he went on to say that newspapers which do not follow the above practice naturally lose out on advertisements which go to the papers which show vastly inflated circulation figures.

“We want to bring this to the notice of advertisers, readers and the management, that this practice will ultimately lead to a lack of response, from the advertisers’ point of view. Continuance of this practice will lead to advertisements drying up for the print media. The Free Press Journal is for fair play and level playing field. What we have said is not merely a claim. Anybody wishing to verify this can visit newspaper depots between 5 am and 6 am and see for themselves what is really happening on the ground. We have been running this campaign for the last four months,” Karnani added.

It’s not the first time, Free Press Journal has released an ad to caution advertisers.

On September 26, 2023, the publisher released an ad ‘Dear advertisers, why pay more’, cautioning them against Mumbai news publishers showing 2019 figures to claim high traffic.


Free Press Journal transparency print circulation print ad circulation figures raddi shareholders print medium