Beckham exclusives bolster News of the World sales figures

Tales of David Beckham's alleged off-field antics appear to have swelled sales of the News of the World, the newspaper that broke two recent exclusives on the footballer.

Industry sources have indicated that sales of the tabloid were more than 3.7 million last Sunday, down on the previous week when revelations from the former Beckham aide Rebecca Loos pushed sales close to 3.9 million, but still higher than for most Bank Holiday Sundays.

Sales of 3.7 million, on the back of alleged "text sex" revelations by the former glamour model Sarah Marbeck, were lower than the NotW's average March circulation; but it is seen as a good performance for an Easter weekend when sales fall significantly because there are fewer casual buyers.

Major exclusives can add as much as 15 per cent to a newspaper's sales.

The sales are said to be more than 100,000 higher than the same weekend last year, but News International spent heavily on national television advertising to promote last Sunday's newspaper and parted with six-figure sums for both kiss-and-tell stories.

News International sources also said that the Beckham revelations had contributed to "a significant week-on-week increase" in sales of The Sun.

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