Nationals wilt under ABC scrutiny

It is no wonder national newspapers are giving away DVDs, CDs, cheap flights and, in the case of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, 20 piece china dinner services.

Latest ABC figures make gloomy reading – only a tiny minority of nationals show year-on-year increases.

The Mirror reflects a year-on-year decline for the six months to the end of September of 6.3 per cent. Last Friday it devoted the whole of page three to plug a free double CD offer running in Saturday’s paper and the Sunday Mirror . The only red-top with a year-on-year rise is the Daily Star, which is up 1.3 per cent. The “popular” tag for the red-tops is beginning to seem a misnomer. The Daily Mail’ s lead over theMirror in September was nearly 650,000. The Independent continues to thrive as a compact and has recorded its twelfth monthly rise in a row. The compact edition of The Times also boosted sales, up 3.2 per cent year on year.

The Guardian , which traditionally puts on sales in September when the schools and colleges return from holiday break, was up 3.2 per cent on August but down by more than 3 per cent year on year.

Sales of The Daily Telegraph in September hovered above the 900,000 mark and were down 1.27 per cent on August. In contrast, the Financial Times was up 7.7 per cent. The News of the World was strongest in its sector with a monthly increase of 3.8 per cent. In the quality Sunday market, The Observer , Sunday Herald and Sunday Times were all up month on month.

By Jon Slattery

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