Scottish Sun to Launch New Attack on Advertisers

The Scottish Sun is cranking up for its assault on web based advertising north of the Border making space for a new team in its Glasgow HQ.

As reported here last week, they have already began recruiting for the newly created post of Head of Digital Media in Scotland.

And as the following advert shows, they will have their own team to follow the money.

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The phrase that should stick out for rivals at the Trinity Mirror owned Daily Record and Sunday Mail, not to mention the other indigenous Scottish titles, is where NI tells prospective candidates that they will have the chance to “contribute to this major new focus for our group in Scotland.”

That focus, of course, squeezing their rivals out of the advertising market now that it holds the dominant position in print sales which it will hope to replicate online.

Only this week Johnson Press – owners of the struggling Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday – announced a £212.3m rights issues it claims is necessary after a downturn in its ad revenues – no doubt putting HR on notice.

Newsquest’s team at The Herald almost gleefully reported the news, not because of the troubles faced by its rivals, but as some justification for the 40 job losses it announced earlier this month – again blamed on the economic downturn.

Trinity Mirror this month reported a global 4% fall in ad revenues.

But in Scotland, that fell even further to 5.2% across the Daily Record and Sunday Mail.

So why then, especially as the Bank of England has just predicted a plague of locust may be on the way to devour what is left in our wallets, is NI pushing so hard in Scotland?

Examine Trinity Mirror’s figures a little closes, look past the alarming overall drop, and you will see a line showing that its digital revenues – ie the web- actually grew 26.5% across the group.

Yet that’s against their websites – across the Daily Record, Sunday Mail, People, Sunday Mirror and Mirror – collectively recording just 4.4 million unique users in March.

That compares to the Sun’s current website that boasts 13.79 million unique users, and the Mail Online with 17.97.

Even still, according to its own figures, Trinity Mirror are claiming a 93% year on year increase in traffic after revamping its sites, the Daily Record smashing its previous count along the way largely because of the current fortunes of the Old Firm and Scotland’s run in football.

So if there is money to be made in a relatively untapped market in Scotland, NI want a price of it, especially if expecting a dip elsewhere in the country.

And in doing so, try to slap down the rejuvenated Trinity Mirror sites at the same time.

The Record stable clearly won’t be going quietly though, with tests of a new editorial system and talk of some fresh investment in hardware on the horizon.

Whether or not they will get the advertising to pay for it, or more importantly retain the staff to use it, may be another one to ponder over coming months.

Especially when you look around the most aggressive newspaper ground in Europe and see just what is going on at other groups.

Except at the Scottish Sun, seemingly offering new investment, when those all around it are dying by a thousand cuts.



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