M&S risks war with Daily Mail by pulling its advertising

Marks & Spencer has risked jeopardising its recovery by withdrawing all of its advertising from the Daily Mail and its sister titles in an attempt to punish the newspaper for a misleading article.

The retailer, which is in the middle of its biggest marketing drive for years, pulled all of its adverts from Associated Newspapers' four main titles, including the Evening Standard and Metro. The move was sparked by an article last November in the Mail on Sunday , which claimed the group's new management team, led by Stuart Rose, wanted to sell up to half of its Simply Food convenience store chain.

The company denied the report, which suggested it would have to write off millions of pounds on any deal. But it is understood to have been unhappy with the correction. Industry observers said M&S took a big gamble in opting to withdraw its advertisements from the Associated titles, which are read by the core clientele it needs to lure back. It withdrew the ads in January, missing out on the chance to reach up to five million readers.

After a dire Christmas, M&S was forced to bring forward its January trading statement and issue a profit warning. Mr Rose is under increasing pressure to halt the group's deteriorating performance, which saw its like-for-like sales sink 5.6 per cent in the six weeks to 1 January. Underlying sales across the group have fallen for five straight quarters.

It is not the first time that a company has sought to punish a newspaper for adverse copy by pulling its advertising. Two years ago, MG Rover dropped its advertising from all the Express Newspaper titles after a disagreement over editorial.

Businesses also sometimes punish newspapers for their political views. Jardine Matheson, the conglomerate, withdrewadvertising from the Financial Times for a year after it endorsed the Labour Party in 1992.

M&S and Associated declined to comment yesterday.

Insiders at Associated said the stand-off was unlikely to last long. Although M&S is a significant source of advertising revenues, it is not among the Daily Mail's biggest retail clients. The newspaper relies most heavily on Dixons, whose Linda Barker-fronted campaigns often take up an entire double-page spread.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Guru Careers: Lead Systems Developer / Software Developer

COMPETITIVE + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Lead Systems Developer / Sof...

Recruitment Genius: Social Media & Engagement Manager - French or German Speaker

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: The world's leading financial services careers...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive - 6 Months Contract

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Digital Marketing Executive...

Guru Careers: Account Manager / Senior Account Manager

40-45K DOE + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Manager / Senior Account Manag...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory