The Sun's circulation appears to have been undamaged by the axing of its long-running policy of publishing topless model pictures on page three.
The page three photos were scrapped in January, only to return on one day, and then disappear again through February.
Sun sales dropped 10.1 per cent year on year in February to 1.8m a day on average (a slightly lower rate of decline than the 10.6 per cent seen in January.
The Daily Star, which continues the page three tradition, lost sales at a rate of 11.7 per cent year on year in February – compared with 13.1 per cent in January – so may have experienced a slight benefit.
In comparative terms the Daily Mirror leads the redtop race with a sales decline of 7 per cent year on year to just under 900,000 copies a day (with 45,000 free bulks in there).
The Times is by far the best performing national newspaper and the only one to increase sales year on year – up 1.8 per cent to 389,051. It is lengthening its print lead on The Guardian and Independent and closing the gap on the Telegraph.
Across the national dailies audited by ABC the average rate of print circulation decline is 7.7 per cent. The Sunday market is faring even worse with an average rate of sales decline running at 10.3 per cent.
|Dailies||Avg circulation||% change y/y||Bulks|
|The Daily Telegraph||479,937||-9.49||–|
|Daily Star – Sunday||264,371||-12.28||–|
|The Sun on Sunday||1,489,942||-12.11||3,812|
|The Mail on Sunday||1,450,201||-8.58||–|
|Independent on Sunday||95,903||-5.00||–|
|The Sunday Telegraph||372,417||-12.02||10,836|
|The Sunday Times||787,091||-4.70||63,228|