Friday, April 27, 2007

London's free dailies go into attack mode

The publishers of London's two new free dailies — Rupert Murdoch and Viscount Rothermere — are accusing each other of dumping papers and inflating their circulation, according to this report by Media Life Magazine. Rothermere's Associated Newspapers, which publishes the 400,000-circulation London Lite, accused Murdoch’s Thelondonpaper (500,000 circulation) of intentionally dumping papers. To back up the claim, Associated released a video purporting to show dumping by Murdoch's workers. That was followed by an ad campaign in which Rothermere's side called Thelondonpaper "the free paper they can't even give away."

Murdoch's Thelondonpaper then responded, issuing this statement: “Associated have a long history of using spoiling tactics to drive competition out of the London market. We have seen this before and it won’t work.” And as it turns out, Thelondonpaper says it too has pictures, those of London Lite distributors also dumping copies.