The Daily Express is accusing the Daily Mail of “underhand tricks” in the battle for sales, after the Mail sent a knocking letter to Express readers.
The Mail sent a mailshot letter from chairman of Associated Newspapers Sir David English to Ex press readers, dated December 4.
The letter talks about the Express cutting editorial staff, its editor’s resignation and says that there is uncertainty in the City regarding the future of the Daily and Sunday Express.
It details a number of offers for free and cut-price copies of the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday.
In an editorial in the Express on Saturday, the paper claimed its readers are being “harassed” by the Mail which is “in turmoil, with many senior executives leaving the paper to join the vibrant Daily Express”.
The editorial adds that The Mail is “so desperate they have resorted to half-price offers”.
A follow-up editorial yesterday (Tuesday) cites the Express’ own recruitment of top executives from the “lumbering” Mail.
The Mail’s tactics are “deplorable”, says Express marketing and circulation director Donald Gray. The editorial, he says, was to reassure readers who may have received a letter.
Since the closure of Today last month, Daily Express sales have increased by between 80,000 and 90,000 copies, he adds.
No-one at the Daily Mail was available for comment as Marketing Week went to press.