The Independent newspaper – a fervent opponent of predatory pricing -has cut its cover price in the North and Midlands in a bid to encourage new readers.
The newspaper’s price has been slashed from 45p to 30p to coincide with the launch of a new branding campaign which broke in cinemas last Friday.
The price cut came only a day after the Liberal Democrat peer,
Lord McNally, attempted to introduce an amendment to the Government’s Competition Bill proposing tough new regulations on predatory pricing.
A statement issued by The Independent says: “In line with all other newspapers we occasionally embark on tactical sampling, giving non-readers the chance to enjoy the substantial improvements that have been made to The Independent since Independent Newspapers Plc acquired the title earlier this year.”
The statement makes it clear that the newspaper is not opposed to short term price-cutting.
It goes on: “Throughout the tactical sampling, however, The Independent will continue to be sold above cost, something that News International consistently failed to do with The Times.”
The newspaper’s cinema ad, aimed at 18- to 35-year-olds with a voice-over by poet John Cooper-Clarke, is to be boosted by a 500-site poster blitz breaking on Sunday (November 1).
According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, The Independent’s average net circulation for the period April 1998 to September 1998 was 220,853 – down 16.25 per cent on the same period last year.