Britain’s largest electronics and domestic appliances retailer Dixons Stores Group – which includes the Dixons, Currys, PC World and The Link chains – has embargoed all advertising in News International’s UK national newspaper titles The Times, The Sun and News of the World.

The tactic is familiar, a repeat of Dixons’ successful manoeuvre two years ago. Since when it is reported to have spent some £35 million with NI.

With two such mammoths eyeball-to-eyeball, the clichés “immovable object” and “irresistible force” are unavoidable. Falling circulations at NI titles have left the retailer less than contented, as has NI’s intractability on concomitant rate concessions.

“It is a rate issue basically. Dixons is using bully boy tactics and NI has to stand its ground,” says a squealer in the publisher’s camp. In the opposite trench, an opposite view: “NI is aggressive with its rates and has falling circulations which don't back them up."

Dixons refused to comment on the stand-off; NI ad director Ian Clark would confirm only that all DSG ads had ceased. Industry onlookers who have seen it all before await the inevitable compromise on the grounds that each side needs the other too badly to divorce permanently.

News source: CampaignLive (UK)