Ruling

Resolution Statement: Complaint 01716-14 A man v Daily Mail

    • Date complaint received

      7th January 2015

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Resolution Statement: Complaint 01716-14 A man v Daily Mail 

Summary of complaint

1. A man complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the Daily Mail Weekend magazine had published an article, headlined “How to be a dog’s best friend”, on 8 November 2014, in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice. 

2. The complainant, a vet, was concerned that the newspaper had inaccurately presented Kate Bendix as an expert on pet nutrition and health, had slurred the veterinary profession, and had promoted raw-meat feeding to cats and dogs without mentioning the public health issues related to the practice. 

3. The newspaper said that as Kate Bendix had her own website and had written articles and a book on the subject of pet health, it was not significantly inaccurate to describe her as an “expert”. Ms Bendix had been entitled to express her opinion on how veterinary practices were run and to discuss raw-meat feeding as an option for pet owners. 

Relevant Code Provisions

4. Clause 1 (Accuracy) 

i)  The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures. 

ii)  A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and - where appropriate - an apology published. In cases involving the Regulator, prominence should be agreed with the Regulator in advance. 

iii) The Press, whilst free to be partisan, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact. 

Mediated outcome

5. The complaint was not resolved through direct correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore instigated an investigation into the matter. 

6. As a resolution to the complaint, the newspaper agreed to make specific changes to the online article as suggested by the complainant. 

7. As the complaint was successfully mediated, the Complaints Committee did not make a determination as to whether there had been any breach of the Code. 

Date complaint received: 10/11/2014 

Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 07/01/2015