Buyers said that the Standard's increased distribution of 600,000 copies would make it a more attractive proposition, given that its current circulation is 235,977. Alan Brydon, the head of press at MPG, said: "It might be hard for the Standard to make lots of profit from this but from an advertiser's point of view, it's an interesting step."
Alexander Lebedev, the Standard's owner and chairman, said that the 50p coverprice would be dropped from 12 February.
Since acquiring the Standard, Lebedev's management team, led by the managing director, Andy Mullins, and the editor, Geordie Greig, have invested in an expensive relaunch and ad campaign that includes several price promotions.
Questions now surround the future of Associated's evening freesheet, London Lite.
Perspective, page 12.