NEWS: Hike in Mail on Sunday ratecard worries press buyers

Press buyers are steeling themselves for an increase in ad rates across a raft of national newspapers, following the Mail on Sunday’s first ratecard hike in two years.

Press buyers are steeling themselves for an increase in ad rates across

a raft of national newspapers, following the Mail on Sunday’s first

ratecard hike in two years.



Buyers, who traditionally try to ignore ratecard rises in negotiations,

believe the strength of the Mail on Sunday’s product and market lead

over its nearest rival, the Sunday Express, mean that the new ratecard

will result in real price increases.



The Mail on Sunday announced this week that it was putting up its prices

by around 5 per cent for basic rates and slightly more for premium

rates. They came into effect for all bookings confirmed after 28

October.



It is now thought that the Mail on Sunday’s sister title at Associated

Newspapers, the Daily Mail, will follow suit soon, although its sales

director, Mike Ironside, denied this, claiming there were ‘no plans’ for

a rate increase before September 1996.



However, the Times, the Guardian and the Observer are also thought to be

in strong enough positions to introduce rises before Christmas. The

Daily Telegraph is set for its annual rate increase on 1 January, while

the Sunday Times upped its rates two weeks ago by 6 and 14 per cent,

depending on the section involved.



Both the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Mail put their cover prices up

over the summer, from 65p to 75p and from 32p to 35p respectively. In

the six months to September 1995, the Mail on Sunday sold an average of

slightly more than two million copies per week and the Sunday Express

sold fewer than 1.4 million.



Helena Hudson, media account director at Optimedia, said: ‘The MoS is a

far superior package to the Sunday Express. Advertisers will probably be

prepared to pay.’



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