The Association of News Retailing has rebuffed calls from the Press Distribution Group to agree to a voluntary newspaper code of practice governing the distribution of national newspapers.

Voluntary codes were worthless, said MD John Lennon, and would result in a meaningless and time-consuming process for retailers to claim small amounts in lost sales against late newspaper deliveries.

The call for a voluntary code comes ahead of the OFT's conclusion to its long-running investigations into vertical agreements between wholesalers and publishers and the National Newspapers Code of Practice this summer.