Daily Mirror and Daily Express publisher Reach said it faced a temporary advertising “blackout” following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, despite an uplift of newspapers sold.
In a trading update, the company posted a 8.1 per cent digital revenue decline in September as a result of the “industry wide reduction” in advertising spend following the passing of The Queen.
The group said multiple brands deferred or flat out cancelled campaigns during the period of national mourning.
Print revenue for the period declined by only 2.9 per cent, with circulation levels up two per cent.
Reach said that whilst there was a one-off circulation boom, with The Express and The Mirror growing aggregate volumes by around 30 per cent on the day following the Queen’s passing and the day after the funeral, this was not a complete success story.
This upside was more than offset by an associated reduction in print advertising, which was down by 17 per cent in July and August, but 32.2 per cent in September.
All in all, Reach faced a five per cent dip in revenue for September across print and digital.
The company said that although the macroeconomic and political climate was “volatile”, advertising revenue should benefit from seasonally stronger yields, particularly around Black Friday and Christmas and from the football World Cup which starts in November.
“We have made further good strategic progress as we continue to deliver quality content to a growing and increasingly engaged digital audience,” said chief executive Jim Mullen.
“I am particularly proud of our teams who worked so tirelessly over recent weeks to produce such comprehensive, respectful, and sensitive coverage of the Queen’s passing, a truly once in a generation event.”