- The Mirror this week was forced to admit that the Daily Mail's circulation has surged past it for the first time in terms of full price sales, following the midmarket newspaper's successful lucky wallets promotion last month.
Industry estimates suggest that the Daily Mail's September ABC will be around 2,420,000 compared to a Mirror figure of 2,375,000.
Roger Eastoe, managing director of Mirror Group Newspapers, sent out a press statement this week acknowledging the Daily Mail's feat but pointing out the Mirror's stronger performance within the red top market following its rejuvenation plan which kicked off in January 1997. The Mirror increased its circulation in the three months to August while consistently reducing its falling sales year on year to 0.6 per cent in August. Its rival tabloid The Sun suffered a year on year decline of over four per cent in the same month.
Eastoe said: "We are not at a low ebb. We have been rebuilding the Mirror's sale and I hope, in a much shorter time, we will be rightfully back in second place." He added that the Mirror is also looking at revisiting brand advertising. "In rebuilding the Mirror, it is something that we would return to."
Media agencies are divided over whether the Mirror's fall from its perch will have a significant impact on advertising. Tim Kirkman, press director at Carat, said: "We are definitely going to see the polarisation of advertising towards specific newspapers. You can more or less get the key consumer groups covered by advertising in News International's newspapers and Associated Newspapers."
Steve Goodman, head of press at The Media Business, agreed that it was a significant advance for the Mail, but doubted its impact on advertisers. He said: "It is a benchmark figure in the history of advertising, but it's not the linchpin in changing trading across the popular and midmarket newspapers."