United News & Media’s ailing Express newspaper, which re-launched seven months ago, is to be relaunched again in the summer.
The aim is to wrest market share from the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and The Daily Telegraph.
The title has seen average daily circulation glide downwards from 1.5 million in July-December 1990 Audit Bureau of Circulations figures, to a low of 1.2 million in July-December 1996. The latest ABC is 1.23 million in March.
It is believed the new Express will target younger males, to the centre or right of centre of the political spectrum. Lowe Howard-Spink is understood to have won the 10m Express account in February after pitching a strategy to attract the young male readership which the Daily Mail misses. It is also thought the paper will be given a fresher, lighter “personality”.
Over the past few months, the paper has been shifting gradually towards the centre, away from its hard-line, right-wing heritage.
One media buyer says: “It is trying to differentiate itself from the Mail, which tends to rant.” The rebrand is planned for July.
Buyers are sceptical of another relaunch stemming the tide of falling ABC figures. One source says: “After so many rebrands the people who work there don’t know whether they are coming or going.”