M&S risks war with Daily Mail by pulling its advertising
Friday 04 March 2005
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.
Bali Nine executions live: Indonesian firing squad shoots dead eight drug offenders despite outcry around world, but a ninth is spared
Keith Harris dead: Orville the Duck ventriloquist dies aged 67 following battle with cancer
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
Donald Trump decides that Baltimore riots are Barack Obama's fault
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
- 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron: Nearly 700 German cinemas refuse to show movie
- 2 Donald Trump decides that Baltimore riots are Barack Obama's fault
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
£65K - £75K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Creative Director...
£40 - 48k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Manager to join...
£20-30K(DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a PR Account M...
Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: One of the UK’s largest and most s...