The Daily Telegraph today took the unusual step of selling its front and back pages to the bank HSBC as a wrap-around ad.
It is a commercial move which national newspapers very rarely take, reliant as they are on newsstand sales.
The translucent ad only partially obscures the main editorial content and flags up a promotion which the Telegraph is running with HSBC which is flagged up in an editorial slot on the front page of the business section and in a story on pages four and five.
The Telegraph has teamed up with HSBC to promote Business Thinking, a scheme by which HSBC offers UK companies £90m in loans to help them expand overseas.
The news story about the promotion reveals that only businesses with sales of at least £2m will benefit from the scheme which will see HSBC fly 54 regional finalists to networking events around the world.
Loans will be offered under the bank’s normal terms, The Telegraph reports, but 18 winning applicants will have arrangement fees waived and benefit from grants equivalent to two per cent of the loan which they can use for investment.
The national winner will receive a loan of up to £10m and a grant of up to £200,000.
The Daily Express encountered criticism in January 2009 when it ran a wrap-around front-page promoting the new Fiat 500 car on the day of after Barack Obama’s inauguration as president.
In April 2007 the Financial Times published a wrap-around front page promoting its own redesign.