The Evening Standard’s new managing director Andy Mullins has hit out at the paper’s previous advertising campaign, condemning its strapline as “defensive” and “short-termist”.
Mullins says that the “There are papers. Then there are Standards” strap-line, created earlier this year, does not represent the future for the newspaper.
Mullins’ comments follow the advertising review called last week for the Standard, with the paper holding meetings with five advertising agencies, including incumbent The Law Firm (MW last week).
Mullins says the campaign was simply a reaction to the threat from sister Associated paper London Lite and News International’s rival free-sheet thelondonpaper.
He adds: “We suddenly have massive competition. The tagline was a bit defensive and short-termist. It’s not the future.”
Future campaigns, says Mullins, will address the benefits to Londoners of buying the Standard. The paper is expected to announce the result of the review later this month, with the winning agency tasked with halting the Standard’s falling circulation.
The paper has shed 18% of its circulation in six months up to March 31, though Associated asserts that its circulation has now stabilised at about 266,000.
The Standard has endeavoured to offset the competition from the freesheets by repositioning itself as a more upmarket paper and increasing its cover price from 40p to 50p.
Media buyers argue that it should champion its upmarket stance in its advertising campaigns to help boost circulation.