Telegraph to research rivals’ reader habits

The Telegraph is to conduct a survey on the sectional readership of its closest rivals, The Times and The Sunday Times, following the success of its research into its own readership.

The Telegraph is to conduct a survey on the sectional readership of

its closest rivals, The Times and The Sunday Times, following the

success of its research into its own readership.



The Telegraph conducted research into its readership patterns in July

and marketed the results as a planning tool for agencies and advertisers

wishing to target particular groups of readers.



The move was a reaction to the National Readership Surveys’ failure to

produce research that satisfies the industry. But the Telegraph’s

decision to extend its research to rival newspapers is likely to prove

controversial.



Chris White-Smith, display ad director at the Telegraph, said: ’We are

laying down the challenge to other newspapers to show that we’re not

afraid of planners, buyers and clients having as much information as we

can give them. Even if all of the bodies within the NRS agree tomorrow

on how the future research should be carried out, there won’t be any new

information until 2001.’



This month 20,000 questionnaires will go out. They will be sent to

households from the Telegraph’s database, which includes readers of

other newspapers.



The survey will seek to compare the section reading habits of Telegraph

readers compared with Times readers. The results of the survey will be

available to agencies and advertisers by the beginning of December.



Laura James, head of press at New PHD, welcomed the research as ’a step

in the right direction,’ but added: ’It’s a shame that all the

newspapers can’t get together and do it. We all want robust research to

use across the sector.’



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