Daily Star 25% display rate hike raises media hackles

LONDON - Express Newspapers is risking stand-offs with advertisers because of plans to hike the Daily Star's display ad rates by a massive 25%.

Over the past few months, the Daily Star has introduced small increases to its display advertising rates.

However, this latest rise, which is expected to be implemented this month, marks a significant pricing shift -- something that many media agencies do not believe the Daily Star's status justifies.

The new rates would increase the cost of targeting readers through the Daily Star to the same level per 1,000 as The Sun and the Daily Mirror. One agency press director said: "I can see how it is justifying the increases but I can't see that it's going to go down well. The Daily Star is the weakest tabloid out there and it's rare a client requests the Star on its schedule; it's regarded as a luxury add-on."

However, the Star's profile is not dramatically different from The Sun's. Some 36% of The Sun's readership are ABC1 adults, while 32% of Daily Star readers are in the same demographic.

During the past two years, the Daily Star has attracted a growing readership. In the January-to-June ABC period, it was one of few newspapers to increase its circulation, up 5.5% year on year. However, this trend has started to reverse recently -- its October circulation was down by 2.3% to 878,934.

A spokeswoman said: "As the Daily Star continues to grow, illustrated by the four-year steady circulation increase, inevitably rates will also increase. These increases will depend on the client and their advertising spend."

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