Newspaper wars heat up with summer offers

The newspaper circulation war has stepped up with The Guardian offering the first bound-on free CD and The Times reducing its cover price on Mondays to 10p for a “summer of sport”.

The Guardian is giving away a three-track Paul Weller CD on the cover of its A5 Guide in London and the South-east next Saturday as part of a promotion that also includes up to 10 off Weller CDs in Our Price and Virgin record stores.

The Telegraph is awaiting sales figures before it decides how to respond to The Times’ attack on its key Monday sports section with an enlarged Monday sports supplement and a 10p cover price.

The Telegraph has a campaign breaking this week through J Walter Thompson to support its Euro 96 fantasy football promotion. Telegraph promotions director Paul Woolfenden says the paper will avoid restarting the price war by cutting its Monday price.

Bizarrely, The Independent tried to take advantage of the Times’ 10p price by offering The Times free to its readers. No-one at The Independent would comment on its strategy.

“It fits perfectly with our strategy of getting Independent readers to sample The Times,” says one News International source. “We are just grateful that The Independent is paying for it.”

A memo leaked to The Observer this week claims The Independent’s Classic Videos promotion cost Mirror Group 1.3m.

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