News Group restructures sales

Two dedicated sales teams will take responsibility for The Sun's and the News of the World's ad revenue.

News Group, the publisher of The Sun and the News of the World, is restructuring its sales division in a bid to revive falling ad revenues.

It is understood that News Group will split its sales division into two dedicated teams, with each handed responsibility for one of the papers.

At present, the sales team at News Group offers a joint sell, driven by the market-leader, The Sun.

The move has been precipitated by The Sun's declining circulation and the arrival of the former Evening Standard managing director, Mike Anderson, as the managing director of News Group.

The group hopes competition between the internal teams will make each brand stronger in the ad market.

Anderson declined to comment, but a Sun insider confirmed News Group is evaluating the current set-up.

Anderson joined News Group last September after launching the Associated Newspapers' freesheets Metro and Standard Lite.

Sales of the News of the World declined 0.89 per cent year on year to 3,789,176 copies in January 2006, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Although the Sunday title has suffered from declining year-on-year sales, in the past year its month-on-month sales rose by 7.98 per cent. This was attributed to scoops such as ensnaring the England coach Sven Goran Eriksson in a "fake sheik" sting and an expose on the Liberal Democrat MP Mark Oaten.

The Sun's circulation fell 1.87 per cent year on year to 3,319,337 copies.

Last year, News Group moved its creative account from TBWA\London to Euro RSCG London and its media planning and buying business from MindShare to Carat.

- Comment, page 48.