The “new” Independent given press buyers’ approval

The Independent newspaper’s relaunch has been met with qualified approval by industry experts.

The new Independent
The new Independent

The newspaper, recently bought by Alexander Lebedev, is about to embark on a huge sampling campaign of 3 million extra copies over the next 10 days, as revealed by Marketing Week.

These “election specials” will be supported by television, outdoor and online advertising.

This is being accompanied by a subscription drive and the first issue of the relaunch offers a guarantee to deliver The Independent “to your door” before 7 am for £5 a week, if the subscriber lives in London.

The offer includes a free magazine subscription from a “wide range of titles.”

Vanessa Clifford, head of press at Mindshare, says: “It’s quite a good revamp. It’s potentially a big turning point for them. It’s the first time they will have any marketing spend for a long time and it’s clever to use the election as a focus.”

Jo Blake, head of press at Arena BLM, adds: “It’s different and innovative.”

Clifford says that the recent history of The Independent “has been a huge lesson in not supporting a brand. It just drifts off people’s radar.”

The Independent, cover priced £1, now has two sections, with a 68-page news section and a 20-page Viewspaper issue. The front page carries the strapline “Since 1986 free from party-political ties. Free from proprietorial influence.”

The publication is to host three pre-election debates under the banner The Independent Live! in Brighton, Oxford and Cambridge, featuring columnists.

The new owner maintains that no decision has yet been made on whether to adopt a free, or partially free, model for the newspaper.


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