Reputation Survey: Sunday newspapers - Appetite for scandal still fuels Sunday sales

Public trust in Sunday broadsheet newspapers is high, but they continue to lose readers to their tabloid competitors despite the closure of the News of the World.

The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times

The majority of the public believes The Sunday Times is the most trustworthy UK national Sunday newspaper, according to the latest survey by PRWeek/OnePoll.

The results suggest that 'hackgate' has not damaged the reputation of News International's other newspaper brands. The survey revealed that 57 per cent of respondents considered the brand the most trustworthy, and 56 per cent thought it had the best reputation.

The Mail on Sunday was considered the second most trustworthy with 23 per cent approval. At the other end of the scale, the Daily Star Sunday was seen as the least trustworthy and more than half felt it had the most scandalous editorial agenda.

However, the national ABC figures published last month show that the Daily Star Sunday continues to fare best from the News of the World's demise. It saw an 89 per cent rise in circulation, reaching 703,319.

Nearly half (45 per cent) of respondents felt the quality of editorial content in the broadsheets was declining. Only 30 per cent of those asked said they read a Sunday newspaper every week.

Forty-five per cent of respondents believed the events leading to the News of the World's closure had permanently damaged the reputations of many Sunday and tabloid print titles.

Almost 40 per cent felt the News of the World's closure was a publicity stunt. The majority (70 per cent) were confident that News International would replace the title with a new Sunday tabloid.

Survey of 2,000 members of the public conducted by global research agency OnePoll

HOW I SEE IT - RUTH PIPKIN, MANAGING DIRECTOR, REWIRED PR

Despite the News of the World fiasco, the British public's appetite for scandal will continue to fuel sales of Sunday newspapers.

It is no surprise to see the red tops trailing behind the broadsheets in terms of reputation, but as we know from circulation figures, a bad reputation certainly does not equate to bad business performance.

The downward trend in broadsheet sales figures has not been stemmed by the furore over tabloid tactics. The hacking scandal has affected the reputation of all Sunday papers, but it is broadsheets that should be most worried.

Nearly half of respondents felt the quality of the broadsheets' editorial content was declining and 42 per cent believed that, despite the News of the World's closure, the broadsheets were losing readers to the tabloids.

With a fifth of Sunday readers choosing to buy both a red top and a broadsheet, quality debate and analysis clearly does not sate our appetite for Sunday scandal.

Potential threat - 60% of respondents thought rival tabloids would lose out if News International launched a new Sunday newspaper

Filling the gap - 34% believed the Sunday Mirror had done best from the closure of the News of the World

No longer dominant - 32% thought News International could once again dominate the Sunday market

WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING SUNDAY NEWSPAPERS ...

... HAS THE BEST REPUTATION?
The Mail on Sunday 24
Sunday Mirror 11
The Sunday Times 56
Daily Star Sunday 4
The People 5

... IS THE MOST TRUSTWORTHY?
The Mail on Sunday 23
Sunday Mirror 10
The Sunday Times 57
Daily Star Sunday 4
The People 6

... IS THE MOST SCANDALOUS?
The Mail on Sunday 9?5
Sunday Mirror 14
The Sunday Times 4
Daily Star Sunday 50
The People 22?5

... DOMINATES THE MARKET?
The Mail on Sunday 38?5
Sunday Mirror 29
The Sunday Times 15
Daily Star Sunday 6
The People 11?5

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Max Clifford trial jury finishes sixth day of deliberations

Max Clifford trial jury finishes sixth day of deliberations

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford on 11 charges of indecent assault has been sent home and will reconvene tomorrow morning for a seventh day of deliberations.

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Fishburn's management have defended their reinvention of the 23-year-old agency amid industry mutterings, fed by a series of director-level departures, about the direction in which it is going.

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

EasyJet aimed to break the world record for the highest ever theatrical performance for Shakespeare's 450th birthday yesterday with the Reduced Shakespeare Company performing on a flight from Gatwick to Verona.

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Senior executives from IBM, Nestlé, Vedanta, GE, Cargill, Philips and Allianz will be among the speakers at PRWeek's first Global Congress.