The Telegraph Group and Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) have abandoned plans to create a joint ad sales house, claiming bad timing. Plans for the merged sales house, called Apollo, were announced in March (MW March 7).
As part of the deal, Apollo – which is owned by the Telegraph Group – would have received a payment from MGN to handle its advertising sales and commission on revenue that came in above a set target. The proposed joint venture would also have allowed The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, The Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror to cut costs by combining their sales teams.
MGN managing director Mark Haysom says: “Both companies believe the timing is not right. Over the past few months MGN has launched a number of strategic initiatives and it needs to maintain the focus of its management effort on these.”
In April, the group launched a strategy that saw The Mirror repositioned as a newspaper with more serious content. In the same month it began a price war with The Sun, which still rages in the Carlton region.
Recent months also saw the restructure of MGN’s sales department, resulting in several redundancies.
Telegraph Group managing director of sales Len Sanderson says that he still believes in the concept of a national sales house and expects to “revisit the idea” at a later date.