Associated in contract launch

Associated Newspapers is poised to move into the pounds 127m contract publishing business with the launch of standalone division, Contract Mail.

Associated Newspapers is poised to move into the pounds 127m

contract publishing business with the launch of standalone division,

Contract Mail.



Associated is the first national newspaper group to move into this

sector.



The decision comes as it seeks to capitalise on its editorial expertise

in producing successful spin-off brands from the Mail on Sunday’s You

magazine, in what is a growing sector.



Contract Mail will be run under the auspices of Simon Barnes, ad

director of the Mail on Sunday.



It will initially use Associated journalists and be sold by the Mail on

Sunday ad sales team. The newspaper group has already begun making

presentations to media agencies.



Two years ago, Associated, whose titles also include the Daily Mail,

spun off a cookery title called You: Complete Christmas, which it claims

sold 250,000 copies in two weeks. In March last year, it launched a

women’s title called Vitality, which was also sold under the You

masthead, with a cover price of pounds 1.95 and a print run of

150,000.



The contract publishing sector has doubled in value since 1990, as more

clients built contract titles into their marketing repertoire.



Around 20 contract publishers produce the top 200 titles for clients

such as Tesco, NatWest, BT and Vauxhall. The top contract publishers

include Redwood, Forward Publishing, River Publishing and Brass

Tacks.



In 1995, Midland Independent Newspapers, the UK’s sixth largest regional

publisher, launched a customer magazine for the cooker manufacturer

Aga.



No other newspaper group has entered the sector until now.



No one at Associated was available to comment.



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