Boy band giveaways push ‘Mail’ sales in right direction

Niall, Harry, Liam, Zayn and Louis shift copies for Associated Newspapers

They may have sold more than 10 million albums, shifted twice as many singles, and have a combined personal wealth of £25 million (according to the Sunday Times Rich List), but how much are One Direction worth to newspapers?

According to Paul Henderson, managing director of Associated Newspapers (Ireland), the Irish Mail on Sunday enjoyed a 25-30 per cent lift on its normal circulation last weekend after it gave away an interactive video CD that included extracts from the boy band's much-hyped new movie, One Direction: This Is Us.

Saturday's sale of the Irish Daily Mail enjoyed a similar boost as it whetted fans' appetite with a poster of the five boys.

“We had a great response on Saturday and Sunday,” says Henderson, who attributes the bump in sales to both “pester power from the 13-year-olds” and mothers “who are secretly in love with One Direction themselves, and so it is a bit of a gift for the household”.

'Something special'
On Monday, the Irish Daily Mail's front page blurb reminded readers they could send in a form to collect their poster and CD "if you missed them at the weekend" – otherwise "it inevitably happens that you get a hundred phone calls on the Monday", he says.

The newspaper industry, including Associated Newspapers, has moved away from CD and DVD giveaways in recent times, but the One Direction offer was the icing on a package deal agreed by the Mail to promote three or four movies, says Henderson: "It has to be something special these days."