Resolution Statement – 20250-23 Funky Monkey v

    • Date complaint received

      11th October 2023

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Resolution Statement – 20250-23 Funky Monkey v

Summary of Complaint

1. Funky Monkey complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “New stores are moving into a changing Penarth high street”, published on 29 July 2023.

2. The article, which reported on shops being closed down and new ones opening up in Penarth high street, included an image of a ‘closed’ sign within a window of one of the shops. Within the image, the reflection of the window displayed the banner of the Funky Monkey shop.

3. The complainant, the shop in question, said the article was inaccurate because the image used in the headline showed the Funky Monkey shop with a closed sign over the photo. The complainant said this was inaccurate it was not closing. The complainant added that, because of the publication of the article, he had received several phone calls from concerned customers and his staff had become worried and upset.

4. The publication did not accept the article significantly inaccurate in breach of Clause 1 but was sympathetic to the complainant’s concerns. The publication said the image was not a picture of the shop Funky Monkey with a closed sign, it was a composite image of several shops on Penarth high street – one of which was the closed sign in the window of Love Brownies Penarth, which had closed. Upon receiving the complainant’s email, the publication removed the image from the article and refreshed the image on the Facebook post meaning that the new article appeared when looking on the social media site.

5. The publication offered to add a statement to the article clarifying Funky Monkey was not closed. It also suggested a reporter could speak with the complainant about writing a story about his business.

6. The complainant did not accept this as a resolution to his complaint. The complainant requested that the publication published an advert for Funky Monkey; and published editorial and photographic content provided by himself and approved by the publication.

7. The publication added the editor’s note to the article. The publication did not consider that it was appropriate to resolve an editorial complaint with advertising space but offered to feature the complainant’s business in a story as a goodwill gesture.

Relevant Clause Provisions

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

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

15. During IPSO’s investigation, the publication offered to publish an article about the complainant’s shop, Funky Monkey, including editorial and photograph content provided by the complainant that was approved by the publication with minor stylistic changes.

16. The complainant said that this would resolve the matter to his satisfaction.

17. 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:  30/07/2023

Date complaint concluded by IPSO:  25/09/2023