Why Brands should steer clear of NOTW

Okay, so this isn’t as clear-cut as it may seem: in the past few days negativity towards The News of The World (NOTW) has escalated to such a level that it’s now being reported in some quarters that the paper may not even survive. Even other UK papers from the News International stable are calling open season on NOTW and it’s key ‘personalities’ – past and present.

But NOTW still had (at last count) the largest circulation of all UK Sunday Newspapers – at around 2.9m, and is notorious for its ability to grab the headlines and sell in a way that you just can’t rule-out the possibility that their circulation figures will yet increase. Will the voyeuristic UK public at large be ever-inquisitive for the exclusive ‘inside line’ on what really has been going on?

Whether or not circulation figures go up, though, the sensible brands will immediately withdraw themselves from NOTW – as some already have. There is no band-wagon worthy of jumping on here – no momentum worth trying to harness for your own gain. In the light of news from the past couple of days, directing advertising revenue to the NOTW now intimates not just that the brand believes bugging celebrities and hacking their voicemail is acceptable, but has also potentially contributed to the funding or the corruption of Police officers.

[first posted on Realise Blog]

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