New design boosts sales of Observer

The Observer’s circulation decline has been halted in the first month of its new look.

The average issue circulation of the Sunday title during September is expected to be about 477,000, up 40,000 on August.

August is traditionally a slow month for newspaper sales, but comparison with the Observer’s September 1994 circulation of 477,093 illustrates that the title is at last making ground after years of decline.

The paper had lost about five per cent of its circulation year on year in the month before the redesign.

Guardian marketing director David Brook declines to confirm any results in advance of the official ABC figures but stresses that the title is expecting the full benefits of circulation growth to take up to a year to materialise.

“It took six months to improve it; we’re working to a long-term plan,” says Brook. “You can’t decide on success or failure in three weeks.”

An ad campaign for the Observer by Chiat/Day broke last week and will run in cinemas and on TV.

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