The National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) says the results of a consumer survey make an ‘overwhelming”case for an Office of Fair Trading review of the newspaper and magazine industry.
The survey, which was carried out by HIM Research and Consulting, asked over 1,400 consumers about their magazine and newspaper habits.
According to the results, as many as 76 per cent of newspaper readers and 68 per cent of magazine readers do not know that the cover price is a recommended retail price rather than a fixed one.
Few had experienced price competition, with 25 per cent agreeing that ‘it would be good if retailers started to offer promotions on newspapers and magazines like they do on other products sold in food and retail stores”.
Some 43 per cent per cent of newspaper readers said newspapers are more expensive than a year ago and 59 per cent said they have considered not purchasing due to price.
Almost 60 per cent said they read fewer ‘paid for’ titles than a year ago to save money.
The Federation is submitting the results to the OFT along with other data to urge it to undertake a competition review of the industry.
Paul Baxter, NFRN chief executive, said: ‘The evidence gleaned in the HIM market research is undeniable and, in our view, provides an overwhelming rationale why the OFT should prioritise a further short review of the news industry, which we expect would lead to a referral to the Competition Commission for a full market investigation.”