NEWS: Sunday Times cuts price in Scotland to advance paper war

The pressure is rising in the Sunday newspaper price war in Scotland after the Sunday Times Scotland cut its cover price to 25p for a six- week sampling push last Sunday.

The pressure is rising in the Sunday newspaper price war in Scotland

after the Sunday Times Scotland cut its cover price to 25p for a six-

week sampling push last Sunday.



In another aggressive move, the Sunday Times Scotland is to become the

first Sunday paper to also be sold on a Monday. The twin attack is part

of a continuing effort by its publisher, News International, to pull

ahead of its rival, Scotland on Sunday.



The two papers have been selling at 50p since early June and are

currently neck and neck in terms of Scotland-only sales. Both claim to

sell about 102,000 copies a week.



The battle was sparked off in early June by a reduction in the cover

price of Scotland on Sunday from 75p to 50p. The Sunday Times Scotland

swiftly followed suit by initially dropping its price to 75p and then to

50p.



The sampling push is targeting readers of rival Sundays. Representatives

of News International are giving out vouchers in selected stores

throughout Scotland, entitling readers to receive the paper at 25p for

six weeks.



According to Bert Hardy, chief executive of Scotsman Publications, the

move to drop Scotland on Sunday’s price was originally taken because it

was felt the product was overpriced.



The effect has been to boost average weekly sales to 108,000, up from

85,000, Hardy claimed.



However, Will Peakin, editor of the Sunday Times Scotland, disputed the

Scotland on Sunday figure and claimed Scottish-only sales for the paper

were closer to 97,000 than 102,000.



Official ABC figures for Scotland-only sales are published on a six-

monthly basis.



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