Media: Analysis: `Mail' shrugs off Diana effect

LAST YEAR, everyone from radio stations to retailers blamed the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, for a downturn in business. Now, for perhaps the first time in its relationship with the late Princess, the newspaper industry can claim the same thing. September 1997 will for ever be Diana month, and September 1998's sales figures look terrible when compared with last year.

Only two dailies, the Financial Times and the Daily Mail, managed a year-on-year increase. Sales of popular papers were down on average 380,000 a day. Broadsheet losses were proportionately larger - suggesting that it was those titles that really benefited last year. The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and The Independent lost 147,000 copies a day between them, selling on average 2,820,000 papers a day last month.

It's the same story in the Sunday market. Every paper bar The Mail on Sunday lost sales compared with September 1997.

The Mail on Sunday managed a year-on-year increase of 91,000 while the other popular Sundays lost more than a million copies between them. This was proportionately more even than the Sunday broadsheets, which lost 281,000 year-on-year.

The Daily Mail's achievement in overtaking The Mirror has been widely covered, but the strength of Associated Newspapers, which publishes the Mail, during September still needs to be marked. The Mail on Sunday held its year-on-year sale thanks to a monthly increase in September over August of almost 200,000 copies a week. The Daily Mail put on more than 100,000 copies a day month on month.

Last Thursday's promotional "skyline" on the Daily Mail encapsulated the reason for this success. In the top corner of its front page the Mail was puffing its "Lucky Wallet" promotion. Below this was a picture of two smart-looking young women and a puff for an article in that day's paper: "Meet the FITS* - *That's Financially Independent Twenty and Thirty- Somethings". It is this combination of a killer promotion and the targeting of young working women that last month allowed the Mail to see off both The Mirror and the Diana effect.

The month-on-month figures for the rest of the popular market were a little more encouraging than the year-on-year ones, but not much. The Mirror increased sales over August by 3,000 - 0.13 per cent - and The Sun put on 22,000 - 0.62 per cent. Neither rise was spectacular for the time of year, but they did buck the trend of long-term decline.

The Express lost out to the luck of the Mail's wallets and was down 4,000 month-on-month, although the paper had a healthy increase in August, when it started its own promotion. The Daily Record's advances in Scotland slipped back in September after the boost of the early start of the Scottish football season in August, and heavy competition north of the border is driving a seemingly endless price war.

The Sunday popular market did not even have the benefit of modest rises in September. All but The Mail on Sunday were down month-on-month as well as year-on-year. Without The Mail on Sunday's gains, the Sunday tabloids would have been selling 100,000 copies a week fewer than in the previous month.

It was a rosier picture for broadsheets. All titles but the Financial Times grew month on month - and it is a mark of the FT's growth that it was still up on September 1997 - so that the market was up 56,000 copies a day from August. The Guardian and The Times increased sales by just over 5 per cent each thanks to heavy promotion, while the The Daily Telegraph and The Independent had more modest rises.

All the quality Sundays bar Scotland on Sunday recorded rises, the market putting on 100,000 copies a week over the previous month - with a 4 per cent rise for The Observer's new editor, Roger Alton.

However, Scotland on Sunday's fall of over 2 per cent casts a shadow over the plan announced last week by the owners of The Herald to launch a new Sunday paper for Scotland under the editorship of Andrew Jaspan.

Arts and Entertainment

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade

radio
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
music
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

music
Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

books
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

tv
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

classical
Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?