Racing Ahead Weekend forced to cut ad rates

Racing Ahead Weekend, the new weekly racing title, has been forced to reduce its rate card for advertising by up to 50% in a bid to lure premium brand advertising. The paper says that its heavily discounted rates are due to a hangover from The Sportsman, the daily betting title which closed after seven months about a year ago.

Gareth Macfarlane, Racing Ahead Weekend advertising manager, says: “Advertisers are saying that they like our product, but their fingers have been burnt by The Sportsman. We anticipated that there would be a backlash, but not to the extent that we have had.”

The recently launched title has attracted advertising from a number of high-profile betting companies, like William Hill, Ladbrokes and the Tote in its first issue. Full-page ads in the paper are currently priced at £1,500.

The paper says it anticipates it will be forced into giving out discounts into next year, by which time it hopes to have established itself.

Racing Ahead Weekend launched on Saturday (October 20) and is aiming for sales of between 20,000 and 30,000 copies.

The paper says it is hoping to avoid the fate of The Sportsman by not competing directly against the long-established Racing Post. It believes that its cheaper, more concise package and decision to print race cards in time order, unlike the Racing Post, will allow it to compete in the market.

However, some media buyers believe the print market for betting titles is saturated and that the paper could struggle to survive.

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