Sunday red tops dented by Sunday Sun

Some of the ground made by the Sunday red tops after the closure of the News of the World has been clawed back by News International after the launch of the Sunday Sun, according to ABC circulation figures.

Sunday Sun

All of the Sunday red tops reported drops in circulation in February, the month the first Sunday edition of the Sun was published.

The sector launched a raft of above the line TV campaigns, promotions, giveaways and cut their cover prices in a bid to mitigate News International’s launch, but early indications appear to suggest these initiative did not manage to retain as many readers as the publishers would have hoped.

The biggest tabloid in the Sunday sector following the News of the World’s closure, The Sunday Mirror was down 9.06% month on month to 1,594,293 in February, but the title is still up 59.11% year-on-year.

Trinity Mirror sister title The People was down 9.06% month on month to 701,246 and is up 55.66% year-on-year.

Northern & Shell’s Daily Star Sunday, which was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the News of the World’s closure, was down 7.09% month-on-month. The title is up 96.04% year-on-year.

Elsewhere, although not direct competitors, The Mail on Sunday was down 2.01% month on month to 1,882,469 and the Sunday Express was down 6.60% to 567,800.

The first edition of The Sun on Sunday recorded an audited circulation figure of 3,213,613, although that figure is likely to sag in future months as souvenir hunters and curious buyers may not buy subsequent editions, according to an Ipsos Mori report.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here