DVDs are one way of boosting newspaper circulations but bribing people is another. This afternoon I went to a railway station news-stand to buy a bottle of Coke and handed it to the sales assistant to scan. “Can I scan this paper ?” she asked, picking up a copy of the Sun. “You get the Coke half-price and you don’t have to take the paper.”
Could this be same Sun as the one David Rowan was writing about in the Standard in June 2002? On the subject of
circulation tricks he wrote:
The Daily Mirror proclaimed in April that it was abandoning bulk sales in favour of “more effective” forms of marketing. The argument makes sense to News International, which sees such giveaways as commercially pointless, especially for tabloids (The Times, by contrast, still gives away 49,000 of its 659,000 UK and Ireland copies). “There are ‘genuine bulk sales’, such as on airlines, where people sit down and read you, but dumping 300 copies unopened in a Little Chef is not legitimate, and it costs an arm and a leg,” says a senior source in Wapping. Two years ago, he says, the Mirror was posting 69,000 bulks, and The Sun fewer than 3,000. Last month, The Sun was down to 223.
This May’s ABC figures show 416,900 of the the Sun’s 3,149,029 circulation classified as “lesser rate”.