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FT seeks to shrug off old-fashioned image with redesign

LONDON - The Financial Times has undergone a redesign, with a new masthead and more colour, to become a more modern and accessible newspaper, backed by a multimillion-pound advertising campaign.

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The relaunch incorporates a new masthead, more colour pages, and more signposting and labelling to improve navigation throughout the paper.

The People section has been expanded, while Business Life and Arts pages have been moved to the final spread in section one.

In section two, corporate stories are now labelled by sector, and coverage of the financial markets will be stepped up. There are also more signposts to FT.com to steer readers online for additional content.

Weekday sports coverage is being cut back to accommodate an extra foreign page, but sports writer Matthew Engel will have a column in the Saturday magazine.

Lionel Barber, editor of the FT, said: "These changes are evolutionary and will provide extra news, deeper analysis and comment. By improving the navigation of the newspaper we're aiming to help our busy readers get more out of the paper so that they understand that the Financial Times is not only an informative and entertaining read, but also an essential business tool."

New columnists will be joining the paper to write a weekly column, including Clive Crook, chief Washington columnist and associate editor, and Luke Johnson, Channel 4 chairman.

The redesign will continue in the weekend edition, which is now called FT Weekend, formerly Weekend FT, and will have a new headline font with seven pages devoted to the arts.

Changes will also be made to the FT Magazine, with more space and colour, a new Frontiers section and an expanded books section.

The paper's redesign was the result of research, which indicated younger managers and non-readers felt the FT was inaccessible and old fashioned.

The advertising campaign, created by DDB London, has been timed to coincide with the redesign and centres around the strapline: "We live in Financial Times". The campaign features three images that portray key business themes, including globalisation, mergers and acquisitions, and business revolutionaries.

Today's issue of the paper has a coverwrap featuring a global cityscape, depicting "world business in one place".

The campaign will run initially in London and the South East and will include outdoor activity incorporating posters, brand taxis and Transvisions, as well as online advertising, point of sale and a fully integrated direct marketing campaign.

A microsite has been created, www.ft.com/join, which provides samples of content from FT.com and encourages users to subscribe.

Frances Brindle, global marketing director for the FT, said: "Our new brand advertising is a move away from the Financial Times' traditional approach. We wanted to create a campaign that would not only promote the excellence of our global business coverage but also capture the excitement and energy of modern business."

The campaign will be rolled out globally later in the year as part of an ongoing investment.

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