Dixons restores NI links after row over ad rates

Dixons Stores Group is understood to have ended its month-long boycott of News International newspapers.

The two companies are believed to have signed a new contract last week. The dispute is estimated to have cost NI 2m in lost revenue.

Buoyant retail sales across Dixons’ retail chains are believed to have tempted the company to pull the plug on advertising in NI titles after the newspaper publisher attempted to harden its ad rates in June (MW July 3).

The electrical retail giant, which operates Dixons, Curry’s PC World and the Link, is a heavyweight press spender, devoting 80 per cent of its annual 90m media spend on press.

Dixons had been spending an estimated 20m a year with NI across all its business, making it the newspaper group’s biggest advertising client before the dispute began.

The boycott followed a similar stand-off between NI and Peugeot-Citroë over attempts to harden rates. Peugeot-Citroë’s former media buyer Mediapolis withdrew ad spend from NI in late May, and that boycott continues although Initiative won the media buying last month (MW July 17).

Neither NI nor Dixons would comment on suggestions that the dispute had been resolved, or confirm when press advertising would resume in NI titles. The Media Centre, which handles media buying for Dixons, also declined to comment.

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