Egmont has said its decision to remove a raft of its children’s titles from the latest round of ABC figures is nothing to do with its two-tiered distribution trial.

Its titles, including its Disney-themed titles and other big children’s brands, were not included in the ABC reports published in February for 2018.

When asked why the removal occurred, Egmont claimed it was due to commercial concerns. 

Commercial director Siobhan Galvin told RN: “We’ve simply decided to claim ABC figures on titles that represent the strongest advertising revenue potential. 

“The primary function of ABC figures is to support advertising sales. For all other titles in our portfolio, we’re more than happy to provide a publisher’s statement, validated by our distributor.”

 NFRN head of news Brian Murphy said: “There may have been a realisation that ABC will not, or did not, accept dual numbers for the same product on sale at different times to possibly the same consumer, and no one planned for this, or perhaps an advertiser or consumer watchdog picked it up and challenged it.

“Months later, our members and the NFRN have still not received any information to be able to reconsider a position on this trial, no measurements have been shared and we may resolute that a second-hand market is being created in an underhand manner, and it needs to be stopped.”

Egmont added its recent anniversaries for Thomas And Friends, celebrating 30 years, and Disney Princess, which marked its 21st birthday – as well as its deal to acquire the licence for Fingerlings – showed its ongoing strength, while Galvin said that its portfolio was “performing exceptionally well across the board”. 

Two Egmont titles remain in the ABC figures, Go Girl and Toxic, both of which saw period-on-period and year-on-year rises, with newsstand sales of 39,498 and 35,190 respectively. 

More recent news: Facebook refuses to remove tobacco posts