Daily Mail in Scotland kicks Sassenach ads into touch

LONDON - The Daily Mail has shown a red card to pro-England advertising in its Scottish edition for fear of upsetting readers north of the border whose team failed to qualify for Euro 2004.

The editor of the Scottish Daily Mail, Chris Williams, is refusing to carry advertising featuring "any kind of distinctly pro-English" image or message.

Advertising featuring images of the St George's flag, bulldogs or Beefeaters is definitely ruled out. Overtly pro-England copy will also need to be removed from advertising.

Williams acted over fears that heavy use of tactical advertising in the run-up to England's opening matches against France and Switzerland would offend Scottish readers.

The Mail's sales teams instructed agencies on Monday that the ban would be in place, asking them to provide separate copy for offending ads running in Scotland or to run such campaigns excluding the Scottish edition.

One agency press director said: "There's an extra cost to the client in providing two sets of copy. I suppose you could take your ad out and move it into another Scottish title but that would take time."

The Scottish Daily Mail has a circulation of 132,052, up 8% over the past year. Williams joined as its editor last December after leaving his job as the editor of the Daily Express. He had worked at Associated Newspapers before joining the Express and was assistant editor of the Mail until he took the same post at the Express in 1995.

Guy Zitter, the managing director of the Daily Mail, was unavailable for comment.

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