Desmond steps up the pressure against Mail

Richard Desmond, owner of Express Newspapers, launches a mailing campaign this week which he hopes will win back tens of thousands of readers in the latest round of a bitter circulation war with The Daily Mail.

The promotion, which will target 1 million homes across the UK, asks: “Why have a second-class mail when you can have the first-class express?”.

The quip was written by Desmond and the promotion contains a voucher for a free copy of the Sunday or Daily Express.

The Daily Express’ circulation recently fell below 1 million with a January average of 979,042.

The Daily Mail’s average circulation in January was 2,479,768.

But a source says: “Desmond relishes a challenge. As the owner of OK! magazine he relentlessly pursued Hello!.

“His intention with the Daily Mail is exactly the same. It is what Desmond is all about.”

The source claimed that 80,000 was added to the Sunday Express’ circulation in an offer last Sunday when OK! magazine could be bought for a penny with the paper. The source also claimed the Mail on Sunday’s circulation dropped by 80,000.

Express Newspapers offers newsagents &£10 for every Mail reader converted to a new Express home delivery package. The Daily Mail was unavailable for comment.

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