Ad revenues at Britain’s national newspapers tumbled 10% year-on-year – some £21 million – according to new figures from ACNielsen MMS.

The Financial Times was the biggest casualty, posting a fall in ad income of around 40%, matching a statement made by the paper’s owner Pearson last week [WAMN: 17-Oct-01].

It was a particularly bad month in terms of ad revenue for the daily broadsheets, which suffered more than the tabloids despite registering a rise in circulations after September 11 [WAMN: 17-Oct-01]. Respective slides of 23% and 21% were felt by The Telegraph and The Guardian, despite the latter’s increase in circulation of over 13% last month.

The quality market’s poor showing partly reflects the replacement of ads with news as the terrorism crisis developed. In addition, broadsheets are more dependent than tabloids on financial and recruitment ads, both in decline over the last year.

The Daily Mail managed to account for nearly 12% of all national newspaper ad revenues, but nevertheless suffered an 18.6% year-on-year drop, while its mid-market rival the Daily Express saw revenues down almost 10%.

Richard Desmond, owner of Express Newspapers, had more success with the Daily Star (up 73.9%) and the Sunday Express (up almost 40%). In fact, it was a good month for many Sunday papers, with The Observer, the Sunday Telegraph, the News of the World and Sunday Business all posting rises, the latter by 135%.

News sources: Media Week (UK);