A voluntary Code of Practice for the newspaper and magazine distribution industry would have no value to independent retailers, says a trade body.
The Association of News Retailing (ANR) has said that it would not support such a Code, which has been suggested by publishers, wholesalers and some retail trade associations as a response to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) investigation into the news industry.
With the OFT expected to report in late summer, proponents of the voluntary scheme say self-regulation and self-monitoring work well in other markets.
However, ANR managing director John Lennon said: "The codes used in other industries are not voluntary; they are all legally underpinned and carry meaningful penalties for lack of compliance.
"If publishers and wholesalers are serious about a full industry partnership, they must listen to retailer concerns and not just pay lip service to them whenever the OFT conducts one of its reviews."