The Daily Mail has done a u-turn on its decision not to offer HND newsagents a 2p handling fee to insert free weight-loss supplements in new year copies of the title following complaints made to RN by disgruntled retailers.
The Weight Watchers supplement, which ran from 2-8 January began with a 32-page “Brand New Smart Weight Watchers” diet plan and followed on with a daily 16-page booklet. But after checking delivery sheets, retailers discovered the industry standard payment of 2p hadn’t been paid to handle the insert.
Paisley-based newsagent Des Barr receives 245 Mails, 200 of which are for home delivery, for which he would earn £24 in insert payments over the week. He did not insert the supplement last Saturday and directed customer complaints towards the Mail’s freephone number.
This comes almost three years after Mr Barr, of Sinclair Barr newsagents, raised identical concerns when the Mail did not offer payment to process a Frozen Planet poster. He said he was given a personal reassurance by DMG Media chief executive Kevin Beatty that it would not happen again.
Mr Barr said: “The Mail is great at supporting the retail trade with promotions, but we cannot work for nothing. This sort of demand is going to kill us and kill HND. The economics are not sustainable.”
Similarly, Gerald Thomas, of Arcade News in Ammanford, also refused to insert the supplement. However, 24 hours after RN put retailers’ concerns to the Daily Mail, it responded by reinstating the 2p payment, reiterating that it wants to work closely with independents.
A spokesman said: “Alongside the value that has been generated from increased sales and margin, we have made the decision to pay a handling fee of 2p on home delivered copies to all TPI registered retailers for this promotion.”
Mr Barr said: “This is good news. On this occasion the Mail got something wrong and did something about it. You can’t ask for better than that.”