Circulation figures for a host of titles published by British magazine giant Emap must be reissued after the Audit Bureau of Circulations found a breach of rules regarding multiple sales.

Fourteen publications are involved in the recount, including Arena, Elle, Q, Mixmag, Top Santé, Slimming, The Face, FHM and Red. Figures must be reissued for the last three ABC periods.

One of the worst affected is Smash Hits, whose January–June 2002 circulation is expected to fall 23% as a result.

The fiasco stems from confusion over how Emap defines bulk sales. As a result, it will henceforth scrap such figures from its circulations. “While we do believe in bulk distribution in some instances as an effective method of sampling,” the group stated, “we will no longer include it in our ABCs to avoid any potential confusion.”

The revised figures will be issued on Tuesday.

Data sourced from: Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff