Mirror Group Newspapers has jettisoned plans to merge its advertising department with that of fellow national newspaper publisher Telegraph Group.

The pioneering deal, had it gone through, would have seen the unification of the ad sales teams for MGN’s national titles – The Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People – with those of the Daily Telegraph and its Sunday sibling within a new entity branded Apollo.

MGN managing director Mark Haysom offered no cogent reason for axing the plan, seeking refuge in vague generalities: “During the past few months, MGN has launched a number of important strategic initiatives and we need to maintain the focus of our management effort on these.”

But both sides insist there was no falling-out over the deal which could be resuscitated in the future when the advertising climate is more stable.

“The crucial point is that there has been no falling out over the structure of Apollo. And both parties agree that the principle of it remains sound. It's a postponement, not a cancellation,” said Chris Whyte-Smith, display sales director at the Telegraph Group.

MGN is a wholly-owned unit of Trinity Mirror, Britain's largest newspaper publisher.

Data sourced from: Independent.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff