Joint ad sales gather pace

News UK: considering ‘every option’ amid declining print market
News UK: considering ‘every option’ amid declining print market

Talks between rival newspapers about joint ad sales have gained momentum, with News UK's Rebekah Brooks welcoming the idea and DMGT said to be willing to discuss it.

Brooks, chief executive of News UK, owner of The Sun and The Times, told Campaign that publishers are "right" to look at joint ad sales to improve their negotiating position amid falling revenues.

"We’ve been looking at every option," she said. "If you listen to advertisers, one of the things they compare us to – a little bit unfavourably, I have to say – is television." Brooks added that TV is a simpler, stronger market with only three sales houses: ITV, Channel 4 and Sky.

Her comments come as sources said DMGT, publisher of the Daily Mail, is also looking at joint ad sales with other publishers.

Campaign revealed in May that newspaper groups including Trinity Mirror and Telegraph Media Group had explored the option of pooling their ad sales. At the time, sources close to News UK distanced themselves from the move and DMGT had not been linked to talks.

The worsening print market and stalling digital growth have prompted publishers to reconsider, even before fears emerged of a Brexit slowdown.

Insiders cautioned that rivals remain wary of teaming up and there could be competition issues. 

DMGT declined to comment.

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