Murdoch: profits will decide fate of bare breasts

Rupert Murdoch yesterday intervened in a battle to expel topless Page Three girls from The Sun , indicating that bare breasts will make a speedy comeback if sales drop.

Rupert Murdoch yesterday intervened in a battle to expel topless Page Three girls from The Sun , indicating that bare breasts will make a speedy comeback if sales drop.

Over the weeks, Page Three Girls have been replaced occasionally by women wearing fluffy bikinis or Wonderbras, because The Sun's deputy editor, Rebekah Wade, thinks topless models put women off buying the paper. But in Adelaide Mr Murdoch faced News Corp shareholders worried that expelling naked breasts from The Sun was so drastic it might cutearnings.

"If there was any threat to that, they would return very quickly," Mr Murdoch told his snickering audience. "All the newspapers are living organisms. They go on developing and changing with the times and popular taste. The Sun is no exception."

On 22 October, Tasty Tara, 25, sported a bra resembling two distressed Brillo pads. Then came a run of clothed models, and media pundits greeted the dawn of a nippleless age in The Sun , ending 30 years of Page Three history. But by last Wednesday, bare breasts were back with Red Hot Jo, 20, from Leicester. This Monday, Gorgeous Rebekah, 20, from Birmingham (no known relation), was in a compromise position, one nipple on show, the other in deep shadow.

Readers may have the final say. The paper has launched a "Search for the Page Three Millennium Girl", with readers invited to vote for their favourite model, with or without tops. The winner will appear in The Sun's special issue for 1 January 2000. Insiders say a clothed winner means Ms Wade has won.

The tabloid is trying to attract more women readers, with its 12-page Sun Woman section, packed with the usual "women's" articles on dieting, hair and George Clooney. The Sun , with 3.6m daily sales, is still the biggest-selling paper, but it trailed The Daily Mail and Mirror in attracting women.

For a decade The Mail led the way, but last month the Mirror challenged with M , a women-focused magazine. " The Mail and the Mirror have woken up to the fact that 7.5 million copies of women's magazines are sold each week," said a media analyst. "That's a big market, and The Sun would be wise not to ignore it."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Sport
football
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
weird news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst - High Wycombe - £30,000

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst role...

Guru Careers: Talent Manager

£30-35k (P/T - Pro Rata) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienc...

Sauce Recruitment: New Media Marketing Manager - EMEA - Digital Distribution

£35000 - £45000 per annum + up to £45,000: Sauce Recruitment: The Internation...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing / PR / Social Media Executive

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A thriving online media busines...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?