The editor of the i newspaper, Stefano Hatfield, was asked at the Society of Editors conference today why the newspaper was priced at 20p and not given away free.
The i first launched in October 2010. Now, more than two years on, Hatfield said the pricing point “works both to establish a quality proposition and it’s also helpful in supermarkets establishing a value proposition”.
If you’d have gone free, in consumers mind [it would have] immediately been up against Metro and we didn’t want to be up against Metro, we wanted to be up against the Guardian, Times, Telegraph.
He added that when the newspaper is sold in supermarkets, therefore, the 20p pricing “is an advantage”.
He added that the “key thing is it’s an active choice to purchase the paper … rather than having it just given to you.”
The latest results from the Audit Bureau of Circulation, which published national newspaper circulation reports for October on Friday (9 November), showed a 44 per cent increase year-on-year in average daily circulation for the i, which reached 304,691 in October this year.
This also represented a 7.7 per cent increase month-on-month.
The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint against the i newspaper that its claim in a television advert that the paper does not contain “celeb gossip nonsense” is misleading.
The adjudication, published here, makes specific reference to the contents of the paper’s daily Caught and Social column, which the complainant felt was “dedicated to celebrity stories”.
In a defence advertising service Clearcast said i “concentrated on newsworthy stories without sidetracking readers to the kind of celebrity gossip published in red top newspapers and celebrity magazines” and believed the ad made this clear. It added that the complainant had misunderstood the claim to mean that there would be no mention of celebrities at all.
They said this was unrealistic because celebrities featured in a range of newsworthy stories that i reported on that were of significant interest.
But in its assessment the ASA upheld the complaint.
The ASA noted the Caught and Social column featured stories about celebrities and included sections entitled Scene & Heard, OMG, iquote and ichat that quoted celebrities and provided updates about where they had been and what they were doing. We considered that readers would understand from the ad that there was no celebrity gossip in i. However, we noted featured stories in two different publications from March included headings that stated “Alex fancies a pop at 007”, “Cilla moves with the times” and “Dame Helen and Russell snog for fans”. We considered that readers would interpret these stories as celebrity gossip and therefore concluded that the ad was misleading.