Between the Lines: The battle of the freesheets

News International says its decision not to increase ad rates on its London freesheet, thelondonpaper, will help bring in a wider range of clients (page 3).

Agencies say it has responded to a difficult market in which its rival, Associated Newspapers, is maintaining rates for its London Lite at a significantly lower level.

NI has to compete with this. But is Associated's strategy correct? It may be right now as it encourages advertisers to invest in its afternoon title. The only danger is that these discounted ad rates impact on its established freesheet, Metro. Its national reach could prevent this from happening, but it's a risky strategy.