Editor's Comment: High-wire act for The Sun on Sunday

Although they're not shouting too loudly about it, some advertisers have missed the News of the World since its closure last July.

Not for its mix of crime, sex and sensation, but for the paper's undoubted ability to deliver that most underrated target audience: working-class men.

Around the time it ceased publication, the NotW's claimed 7m readers were, according to the National Readership Survey (NRS), 52% male and 61% from social classes C2, D and E.

Scant surprise, and some excitement, then, at News International's announcement of its imminent launch of The Sun on Sunday (TSoS).

Will blue chips such as Ford, Cadbury, Sainsbury's and Coca-Cola, which helped kill the NotW by withdrawing their ads, return to NI's substitute title? Some, including Tesco, were considering it as Marketing went to press.

Top of the unknowns is whether TSoS will revert to lowest-common-denominator tabloid journalism as it seeks to recapture White Van Man and his mates.

Four months after the NotW closure came a telling statistic. November's NRS data showed a substantial proportion of its former readers had not switched to a rival title, suggesting they were loyal to the paper's brand of prurient journalism.

It will take some tightrope-walking by The Sun and TSoS editor Dominic Mohan and his team if they are to keep both brands and readers on board.


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