Tabloids feel heat from Sun on Sunday as advertising war begins


The launch this weekend of the Sun on Sunday is set to trigger the biggest British tabloid battle for years and generate a cash bonanza for broadcasters as rival newspaper groups fight for advertising space to promote their titles.

Rupert Murdoch's News International (NI) is likely to offer his new paper at a cut price in an effort to lure back the 2.6 million readers the company lost with the News of the World's closure over the phone-hacking scandal last July.

But other newspaper groups, most notably Trinity Mirror and Richard Desmond's Northern & Shell, will challenge the media mogul with big advertising campaigns after enjoying a boom in circulation in the last seven months at a time when the press industry is struggling.

Mr Murdoch's decision to bring forward the launch of the new paper sparked a frenzy of activity in the media sector yesterday as newspaper companies sought to buy up air time for television advertising and to cut deals for promotional campaigns including CD giveaways.

"We may see a good old-fashioned price war or some really innovative campaigns," said Jeremy King, editor of Media Week. "One question from the point of view of media agencies would be whether advertisers who take strong moral stances would be happy to put their brand into a newspaper that's still highly associated with the News of the World. On the flip side, they will know that for the first few weeks everyone will want to see what this new Sun on Sunday looks like."

The Sun on Sunday, which will be edited by Dominic Mohan, right, may, according to Sun sources, sell for a cut-price 50p or 75p in its first week, while being produced for only a third of the cost of the News of the World. That could create a new price war in the Sunday popular newspaper market, something in which Mr Murdoch is very experienced. Only around 20 of the 200-strong former staff of the NOTW will find work at the new paper. Hayley Barlow, the former NOTW PR woman, tweeted yesterday: "Thrilled colleagues & friends on The Sun live to fight another day. Meanwhile former NOTW colleagues & friends fight to live another day". Many of those laid off when the Sunday tabloid closed last July have not found work and some said last night that they were hoping NI would consider them for further positions.

NI is said to be planning an ambitious print run of around 2.5 million copies and will be hoping to lure back the 800,000 buyers who have stopped purchasing a Sunday paper since the demise of the NOTW. But the company's rivals will not allow it to simply take back the gains they have made.

Trinity Mirror has the most to lose. Its Sunday Mirror has seen sales increase from 1,087,000 last June to 1,753,000 last month. The biggest winner in percentage terms has been Mr Desmond's Daily Star Sunday, up 111 per cent to 644,804.

Media industry sources said last night that both Trinity Mirror and Northern & Shell (which is expected to heavily promote the Daily Star on Sunday on its Channel 5 TV platform) were planning to "match or even surpass" the spending on television advertising this weekend by NI, which itself is planning a "significant" outlay.

"It's going to be a very big week," said one senior media buyer. "One problem is the availability of air time. I think we will end up with a real bun fight on Thursday and Friday for the key spots."

News International's advertising campaign will be created by Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP, which recently won the company's £28m account. Another WPP business, Mindshare, has held the NI account for planning and buying media space since 2005.

Media experts have mixed views on the venture. "There's no guarantee that it will work as well as the NOTW," said James Moody, strategy director at BDA Creative. "The Sun has a very different brand from the NOTW which suited the occasion of Sunday mornings perfectly." But Stewart Easterbrook, CEO of media agency Starcom MediaVest Group, said: "It may energise the Sunday newspaper market and not just be for News International's benefit."

A key figure at the new paper will be the design expert Simon Cosyns. Currently a joint deputy editor of the daily paper, Cosyns was shown joking with Rupert Murdoch in one of the official photographs of the News Corp chairman's visit to the Sun newsroom on Friday. He is thought to have been responsible for the design of the new title.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Content Manager - Publishing

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

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...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
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