thelondonpaper2008I’m all for making the most of every opportunity, but News International’s self-promotion in the last ever issue of freesheet thelondonpaper was not only a tad desperate, but it also appeared to take another swipe at independents’ sales. The slightly over-sentimental final edition, which was handed out last Friday, contained a series of NI ads, including vouchers for 30p off the following days issue of The Sun and 50p off the News of the World. Vouchers do encourage people to pick a copy of a newspaper, but I wonder whether retailers had been tipped-off that more vouchers would be presented to them at the weekend.

More importantly, it included an offer to have the News of the World and Fabulous, its free magazine, delivered direct to customers by 7am for four weeks, for free. This follows NI’s heavily marketed direct to consumer offer on The Times, which has cut many independents out of the supply chain.

Whether many Londoners will actually take the offer up is unknown, but it deals another blow to the independent sector.