The self-regulatory body for the newspaper and magazine sector has been branded a "failure" by retail associations.

The Press Distribution Forum was formed last year by newstrade wholesalers and publishers in response to an Office of Fair Trading investigation, which recommended self-regulation rather than a referral to the Competition Commission.

The Association of News Retailers and the National Federation of Retail Newsagents have ­refused to join the PDF ­because they claim it has disregarded retailers' complaints over carriage charges, late delivery and a claimed wholesaler duopoly.

And the forum's recently published quarterly report further angered both associations for stating that it was "maintaining ­dialogue with industry sectors, associations and trade bodies, encouraging participation and contribution".

"The PDF has completely failed, with publishers and wholesalers blindly focusing on maintaining the status quo at the expense of retailers," claimed ANR MD John Lennon. "The sector must be referred to the Competition Commission."

NFRN newstrade operations committee chairman Sam Whiteside added: "We have accepted invitations to meet with PDF delegates. But there appears to be no desire to tackle issues that infuriate retailers."

The PDF report revealed it had received just 18 calls in three months. "We are left to conclude that retailers have given the PDF a massive thumbs down," added Whiteside.

A spokesman for the PDF insisted that it had met with the ANR and the NFRN "on several occasions in an attempt to find positive solutions but without success". It would continue to communicate with all retail associations on its developments and was planning a consultation in the autumn for potential amendments to its Press Distribution Charter.

He added that it had received a low number of calls because of "a lack of awareness of the appeals process, and its success in resolving lower-level ­disputes".