'Astronomical' ad rate rises prompt boycott of Metro

Media agencies are boycotting London freesheet Metro after what one described as 'astronomical' rate rises.

Media agencies are boycotting London freesheet Metro after what one

described as 'astronomical' rate rises.



The paper's deputy managing director Mike Anderson last week told

Campaign Media Business that he is putting a new team of planner/sellers

in place to position the title as a unique broadcast-cum-poster

medium.



But the rate rises have angered Optimedia, Motive, MindShare and

CIA.



Adam Crow, press director at MindShare, said rates had gone up by

'around 150 per cent'.



'We were particularly annoyed from a client point of view because we

supported the paper early on. We made sure it was on schedules. Then

suddenly the whole rate structure was changed. We were told the paper

would only honour deals it already had in writing - but everybody knows

a lot of this business is based on gentlemen's agreements.'



Crow said the strategy had 'made clients look stupid and devalued the

product'. He added: 'Agencies would still have been unhappy if we'd been

warned in advance about the rises. But there was no communication.'



Nick Walker, group director at Optimedia, said the agency was 'in

negotiations' with Metro. 'We'd like the paper to succeed, but we're not

doing anything until it can justify its prices.'



Andy Roberts, executive buying director at Motive, said: 'It's a good

product, but they shouldn't get carried away. It's still a

freesheet.'



Anderson says this is not the case. 'It's not just a paper, it's a new

media vehicle hitting young Londoners between 7am and 9am. In that

respect, it offers fantastic value. In the past we have failed to

communicate that to buyers.'



BMRB figures show Metro has a young, upscale readership. Two-thirds of

readers are under 35 and 72 per cent of them are employed.



Analysis, p11.





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