WH Smith News went live this week with its dedicated magazine distribution scheme delivering to its own stores ­ but the initiative continues to be dogged by controversy. John Menzies Wholesale has consulted its lawyers. Distributor H Bauer has refused to increase supplies to WH Smith News and is also taking legal action. A spokesman said: "WH Smith News has chosen to ignore the issues surrounding our existing contracts with both them and other wholesalers which prevent them from operating outside their given area." John Menzies Wholesale's md Iain Callaghan said: "Our lawyers have exchanged letters with the legal representatives of WH Smith News, Bauer and MMC. "We believe there has been a breach of the exclusive contract agreements. "We are continuing to supply WH Smith retail outlets in Scotland, but WH Smith News said it would return the titles." Tesco had originally planned to be WH Smith News' main retail partner, but the multiple is still awaiting further developments of the Periodical Publishers' Association's plans to reform magazine suplies to retailers. It was feared some stores supplied by WH Smith News would have supplies cut to free up copies for the WH Smith stores serviced by other wholesalers. One newstrade figure said: "With Bauer refusing to increase supplies to WH Smith News, and Thomson and MMC having mainly small circulation titles, the test is not as embracing as it might have been. However, at least one major supply/distribution contract is up for renewal next spring and that could change the situation." However, the Association of Convenience Stores welcomed the beginning of national magazine distribution arrangements, saying the current system was archaic. Mike Greene, chairman of the ACS News Group, said: "We welcome WH Smith News' assurances that supply will remain for all current news retailers on their current terms, with carriage charges frozen for 12 months." ACS also supported the PPA Blueprint to set up a central publications unit to improve title management and sales based replenishment systems, but questioned the scheme's costs and logistics. The Association of Newspaper & Magazine Wholesalers is working on its own proposal to "enshrine the principles of the Blueprint and meet the aspirations of both retailers and publishers". {{NEWS }}