Express Newspapers is aiming to stem the sales erosion of its two
titles, the Express and the Daily Star, and pursue market share with the
appointment of Paul Woolfenden as marketing director.
Woolfenden has been poached from the Telegraph, where he has been
promotions director for the past two years. According to industry
sources, his departure may lead to a shake-up in the Telegraph’s
marketing department, with the promotions director position being merged
with the marketing director’s post.
At the Express, Woolfenden replaces Justin Jameson, who is returning to
management consultancy at the end of March. He joins a newspaper which
reported a month-on-month increase in Monday to Saturday circulation of
more than 6 per cent in January, following a three-month decline.
Woolfenden commented: ’The brief is a wide one at Express Newspapers in
terms of involving all elements of the marketing mix. The overriding
consideration was the meetings I had with the editors, which were
extremely positive, because I feel there should be a symbiotic
relationship between marketing and editorial.’
He added that as well as reviewing internal and external marketing
arrangements, he wanted to set out a clear branding strategy for the
newspapers in order to win back readership.
Woolfenden said: ’I will be looking at all the agencies, and everyone
involved. I will look at performance - I know Tim Lindsay (chief
executive) at Lowe-Howard Spink. Some of the stuff the agency has
produced has been interesting, but perhaps could have been better. I
need to evaluate what its thinking is and make sure it can help.’
Lowe Howard-Spink won the Express account 12 months ago, beating the
incumbent, DMB&B, Walsh Trott Chick Smith, BMP DDB, Leo Burnett and
Ogilvy & Mather. The newspaper group did consider centralising media
into Lowes at the time, but kept it with IDK. Burnetts is the creative
agency for the Daily Star.
Referring to January’s increase in circulation, Woolfenden said: ’If
that is a blip, we have to turn that blip into a trend. We need to
redefine the roles of the Express and the Daily Star and be clear about
what our objectives are. This is not going to be an overnight job.’
Nicholas Rudd-Jones, the managing director of Express Newspapers, said:
’We’re pretty happy with the look and content of the Express and the
Daily Star, and we feel we can now move forward. Paul is very focused on
marketing which produces results. We wanted someone with the ability to
make a real difference in the market.’
He added that, from a marketing point of view, ’more noise’ needed to be
made about the Daily Star, particularly through promotions, as the
newspaper battles in the declining red-top market.
Before joining the Telegraph Woolfenden worked at the marketing and
sales promotion agency, Firecrest, and was promotions director for the
Sunday Times and the Times.