Indy to remain paid-for as ad campaign rolls out
LONDON - Simon Kelner, the returning editor of The Independent, has told an audience of media buyers that there are no plans for the paper to become the country's first free national newspaper.
The Independent: cover price stays
Kelner, along with commercial director Simon Davies and deputy commercial director Mel Danks were among the personnel from the newspaper who attended yesterday's meeting with media buyers.
Questioned on the prospect of scraPping the title's £1 cover price charge, Kelner said it was not factored into the Alexander Lebedev-owned paper's plans, according to a well placed source.
There has been fevered speculation that Lebedev would mirror the strategy of his other UK newspaper, The London Evening Standard, and take it free.
The denial from Kelner comes as Lebedev undergoes a major marketing initiative, which involves giving away 300,000 limited edition free copies of the title, in an effort to revive the paper's fortunes.
The title, which relaunched today (Tuesday) with a new pullout section called The Viewspaper, has launched a major above-the-line campaign targeting apathetic voters ahead of the election.
The limited edition 64 page newspaper will be given away from Wednesday (April 21) until May 5 in marginal constituencies and areas which have new independent candidates standing in the election.
The Independent is trying to lure in a single brand to be the sole advertiser in the 64-page title, which will feature a different coverwrap each day created by Trevor Beattie's BMB agency. Distribution will include hand-to-hand distribution and a partnership with Boots the chemist.
The Independent will also have branded battle buses touring the country distributing newspapers and calling on local candidates to debate issues around political reform. The through-the-line campaign, breaking on 21 April and created by BMB, will run through the election featuring TV, outdoor, and viral advertising.
Further marketing activity includes hosting live debates hosted by editors from The Independent, politicians, and business leaders.
According to audited figures, the circulation of the Independent was 184,137 in March, , up 0.32% on the previous month, but down 10.31% on the year. More than 53,000 of its headline circulation figure was made of bulk copies.
This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk
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