Mirror’s relaunch checks sales decline but fails to ignite growth

The relaunch of the Mirror in January has interrupted the paper’s long-term circulation decline, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations figures.

The relaunch of the Mirror in January has interrupted the paper’s

long-term circulation decline, according to the latest Audit Bureau of

Circulations figures.



However, the revamp, which involved a return to TV brand advertising

after more than a year, has failed to bring about a significant increase

in sales and observers were this week predicting that the upturn may be

a blip.



While the average monthly net circulation for January rose 6.54 per cent

to 2,457,000, the circulation for the week ending 25 January increased

only 3 per cent - or by 70,000 copies - to 2,370,000.



The Mirror announced at the start of January it was investing more than

pounds 16 million over a two-year period to overhaul the title. Changes

included dropping the ’Daily’ prefix and the introduction of a US-style,

picture-led front page. But despite the redesign and advertising

support, the Mirror’s circulation is still down 250,000 copies year on

year.



Some buyers expressed dissatisfaction with the performance. Bill Kinlay,

media director at the Network, commented: ’The figures up to now have

not been as high as I would have expected. There will be disappointment

at Mirror Group.’



He added: ’With any sort of revamp, people expect to see a circulation

increase, but I think agencies and clients are realistic about how

difficult it is to maintain long term.’



However, Steve Goodman, a director of the Media Business, said: ’It’s a

long-term investment. The Mirror would not expect the changes to put on

readership immediately. In the short term, there might be some fall-out

among existing readers who do not like the new look.’



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