Telegraph to research Times readership

The Daily Telegraph is to conduct research into the section readership of its closest rivals, The Times and The Sunday Times.

The Daily Telegraph is to conduct research into the section

readership of its closest rivals, The Times and The Sunday Times.



The controversial move follows the Telegraph’s first attempt at

researching its own section readership over the summer. This revealed a

surprise - that 41 per cent of women read the Telegraph’s sports

section.



In this second phase, 20,000 questionnaires will be sent to people who

buy The Times or Sunday Times at least three times a week but don’t buy

The Daily Telegraph or Sunday Telegraph more than twice a week. The

Telegraph claims to have 100,000 Times readers on its corporate database

of 1.5 million names.



Another 20,000 questionnaires will be sent to readers who take the

Telegraph predominantly.



The Telegraph is attempting to address long-standing agency demands for

data on section reading habits. The subject is being debated by industry

bodies with a view to including the data in the National Readership

Survey.



But Telegraph display ad director Chris White-Smith said that, even if

agreement is reached, the first NRS data would not be available until

summer 2001.



’Publishers have been reluctant to reveal this data as they fear buyers

will use it as a stick to beat us with,’ said White-Smith. ’But 90 per

cent have responded positively. The others we refuse to present to

because they have missed the point.’



Mediapolis press director Priscilla Rogan said: ’I would be much happier

with independent research.’



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