Ruling

Resolution Statement – 04676-16 Triffitt v Harrogate Advertiser

    • Date complaint received

      6th October 2016

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Complaint 04676-16 Triffitt v Harrogate Advertiser 

Summary of Complaint 

1.    Nicola Triffitt complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the Harrogate Advertiser breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Restaurateur joins battle for indies”, published on 9 June 2016. 

2.    The article reported on a campaign to support independent restaurants in the town of Harrogate. It stated that: “Recently, the town saw the closure of the Damn Yankee and Salsa Posada restaurants”. 

3.    The complainant, the owner of Damn Yankee and Salsa Posada, said that the article was inaccurate as neither restaurant had closed. She said that the newspaper had not attempted to contact her to establish the accuracy of its claims. 

4.    The newspaper arranged a meeting with the complainant on 13 June, following which it published the following correction:

The owner of Harrogate’s Damn Yankee, Salsa Posada, Cattlemen’s Association and Nutrition Joe’s, Nicola Triffitt, has asked us to make it clear that all of the businesses are open and still going strong. 

The Harrogate Advertiser Series published an article in the Business Weekly section on June 9, 2016, which stated that Damn Yankee and Salsa Posada had closed, which is not the case. 

The information was sent to us by a third party and was published in good faith. 

We have apologised to the owner of Damn Yankee Ltd for the mistake. 

Damn Yankee, Station Parade, is a well-loved Harrogate restaurant, which has been running for 44 years, and continues to grow from strength to strength. 

As a result of the continued success of the businesses, Damn Yankee Ltd has recently opened an urban café on the Gambaru Fitness premises, on Station Parade, called Nutrition Joe’s. 

Due to its early success it was awarded a Healthier Choices for a Healthier You GOLD award by North Yorkshire County Council. The eatery has extended its opening hours until 9pm to run alongside the gym due to popular demand. 

5.    The newspaper said it regretted the error, but that the correction was published swiftly, and with greater prominence than the article under complaint. It said that although the article under complaint was not published online, it published the correction on its website. In order to resolve the complaint, the newspaper also offered to publicise the complainant’s businesses, either via a free advert or an editorial feature.  

Relevant Code Provisions 

6. Clause 1 (Accuracy) 

i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text. 

ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and — where appropriate — an apology published. In cases involving IPSO, due prominence should be as required by the regulator. 

iii) A fair opportunity to reply to significant inaccuracies should be given, when reasonably called for. 

iv) The Press, while free to editorialise and campaign, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.

Mediated Outcome 

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

8.    Following IPSO’s intervention, the newspaper offered the complainant five adverts for her businesses.  

9.    The complainant said that this would resolve the matter to her satisfaction. 

10. 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: 05/07/2016

Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 08/09/2016