Measuring editorial needs

Date of publication: November 1, 1979


In November 1978 a new tabloid newspaper was launched in the Midlands and Northern areas of England. It was positioned directly against existing popular newspapers. Marplan, on behalf of The Sun, monitored its launch in order to predict its sales level and to identify its editorial strengths and weaknesses. This paper describes the sales success achieved by that newspaper: evaluated against its published targets. Most of the paper, however, deals with the level of editorial success achieved: and how this compares with the editorial ratings given to existing popular newspapers. As a bi-product of this study much data of value emerges on the editorial requirements of readers of mass circulation daily newspapers. The paper describes the techniques used - and the results obtained. Finally the paper describes a multivariate approach to classifying people in terms of their requirements from popular newspapers. This approach offers significant opportunities for the accurate identification of "what leads people to read popular newspapers".

John Clemens


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