News of the World's rivals race to take its advertising

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The Independent Online

The News of the World's newspaperrivals have actively targeted advertisers that pulled spending as the phone-hacking scandal intensifies, looking to profit from the demise of the 168-year old tabloid.

Trinity Mirror's advertising staff were ordered to hit the phones as soon as the news of the paper's demise emerged. Earlier in the dayAssociated Newspaper staff were emailing companies that had pulled advertising from its rival to secure more advertising for this week's edition of The Mail on Sunday.

Companies have been pulling advertising from the News of the World in the wake of allegations that its journalists hacked the phone of the murdered teenager Milly Dowler. The exodus culminated yesterday as James Murdoch, chairman of the tabloid's parent company, News International, announced that all advertising had been pulled for the next edition, which would also be its last.

Associated Media and Trinity Mirror, which owns the Mirror titles, acted quickly to snap up potential additional advertising revenues. The bump may only be temporary, however, if News International decides to make The Sun a seven-day operation.

Associated's advertising staff pitched to potential customers in an email that said: "In light of the public outcry with the News of the World and also hints that key advertisers such as yourselves may be pulling away – is there anything we can do to support you this coming weekend in terms of copy?"

It added that should the company "want to follow public opinion and boycott the News of the World completely we can work with you".

One insider at a company that pulled advertising from the News International title said it had been contacted by Associated and Trinity: "They see it as a huge opportunity."

It is unclear whether sales staff at the Express titles have followed a similar strategy.

Trinity's shareholders were similarly euphoric, with the share price gaining 14 per cent this week, amid news of its rival's mounting troubles.