30 January 2015

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Newspaper in sabotage claims over obscene advert

Police are being urged to investigate a possible case of sabotage after a weekly newspaper advert was amended to include an obscenity.

The Pembrokeshire Herald published an advert for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, pictured below, which included an expletive in a list of services provided by the company.

Newspaper bosses have written to police about the advert, saying they believe it to have been doctored by an unauthorised person.

The Herald was launched earlier this month and is published by Milford Haven-based MegaGroup Pembrokeshire Ltd, which also runs the area’s free local monthly magazine Best.

The title has now apologised to readers after the advert was published in the 19 July edition, which had a print run of 20,000 and remained on sale after the amendment was discovered.

Other adverts in the edition were also changed as the paper was waiting to go to print, although only the Enterprise one contained an obscenity.

Publisher Tom Sinclair told readers: “A number of adverts in last Friday’s newspaper had additional copy inserted into them after they had been proofed and signed off.

“The extra copy contained language that was inappropriate for a family newspaper like ours.

“I would like to make it absolutely clear that the adverts were altered without the knowledge of our advertisers or this newspaper.

“The pages had been signed off and were ready to go to print. I would like to apologise to our readers and advertisers for any distress caused.”

He told HTFP he did not believe the incident would damage the newly-launched paper and said the Enterprise advert had been republished at twice the size the following week to apologise to the company.

The error in the advert also caught the attention of TV presenter Jeremy Vine, who tweeted about it, asking if it was ‘for real?’

A spokesman for Dyfed Powys police said it had yet to receive the letter from the Herald’s publishers.


  1. Sub for my sins

    Ouch, that’s going to hurt.

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  2. Ex-scribe, Cambridge

    How purile *titter, titter*

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  3. Perils of infrequent password changes

    It was inevitable that this would happen somewhere in the industry at some point. Maybe folk will wake up and start changing passwords more frequently. In a day and age where you can access more and more of the editing software remotely, and firms aren’t so quick on blocking access to former staff, this is a lesson for us all.

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  4. Voice of Reason

    Leaves a nasty taste in the mouth!

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  5. Trunky

    Does anyone proof-read these? There’s a completely unnecessary comma there.

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  6. LOL

    And they say newspapers aren’t used to wrap your nosh anymore

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  7. westwaleshack, West Wales

    I know the post in Pembrokeshire is slow, but letters sent within the county do usually arrive within a day or two. I wonder how long Dyfed-Powys Police will be left waiting for this complaint to arrive.

    Report this comment

  8. Digger

    I think Ex-Scribe means “puerile”. No wonder he’s an ex-scribe.

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  9. Bluestringer

    Bet the rent-a-car firm was inundated.

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  10. Scoop

    Quality – disgruntlement goes public. Reminds me of readers letters in Viz.

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  11. streatham2

    “Does anyone proof-read these? There’s a completely unnecessary comma there”

    There’s also no hyphen, so the “sabotage” isn’t as lewd as was probably intended or as the publisher seems to think it is

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  12. Rusted lieutenant

    Has an eerie similarity to the Victorian case where an obscenity was, ahem, inserted into a seemingly never-ending verbatim report of a spectacularly dull parliamentary speech. Couldn’t be the guilty comp is still around, could it? Oh no, they all went decades ago didn’t they?

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  13. pedro

    Interesting way of putting on sales though!!

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  14. Avatar

    “Does anyone proof-read these? There’s a completely unnecessary comma there”

    It’s a serial comma, which is completely valid, if optional.

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  15. ian

    Serves Enterprise right after they managed to charge my 80 year old mum £300 plus VAT for a new wing mirror. I understand that repairs to their cars are a major profit source to them.

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