The pressure is rising in the Sunday newspaper price war in Scotland
after the Sunday Times Scotland cut its cover price to 25p for a six-
week sampling push last Sunday.
In another aggressive move, the Sunday Times Scotland is to become the
first Sunday paper to also be sold on a Monday. The twin attack is part
of a continuing effort by its publisher, News International, to pull
ahead of its rival, Scotland on Sunday.
The two papers have been selling at 50p since early June and are
currently neck and neck in terms of Scotland-only sales. Both claim to
sell about 102,000 copies a week.
The battle was sparked off in early June by a reduction in the cover
price of Scotland on Sunday from 75p to 50p. The Sunday Times Scotland
swiftly followed suit by initially dropping its price to 75p and then to
The sampling push is targeting readers of rival Sundays. Representatives
of News International are giving out vouchers in selected stores
throughout Scotland, entitling readers to receive the paper at 25p for
According to Bert Hardy, chief executive of Scotsman Publications, the
move to drop Scotland on Sunday’s price was originally taken because it
was felt the product was overpriced.
The effect has been to boost average weekly sales to 108,000, up from
85,000, Hardy claimed.
However, Will Peakin, editor of the Sunday Times Scotland, disputed the
Scotland on Sunday figure and claimed Scottish-only sales for the paper
were closer to 97,000 than 102,000.
Official ABC figures for Scotland-only sales are published on a six-