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
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.’