Associated Newspapers is poised to move into the pounds 127m
contract publishing business with the launch of standalone division,
Associated is the first national newspaper group to move into this
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
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
In 1995, Midland Independent Newspapers, the UK’s sixth largest regional
publisher, launched a customer magazine for the cooker manufacturer
No other newspaper group has entered the sector until now.
No one at Associated was available to comment.