SOUTH AFRICA’S BIGGEST daily news-paper continues to buck the trend. While total newspaper sales have dropped 10% in a year, the Daily Sun continues to haul in the numbers, in the process overtaking the Sunday Times as the country’s biggestselling paper, daily or weekly, with first quarter sales averaging 507 000.
Moreover, says publisher Deon du Plesssis, advertising isn’t being discounted, despite the economic conditions. “Advertisers know they receive value for money because they’ve experienced direct response to their ads,” he says. “Readers often perceive what’s advertised as having endorsement from the paper. And they get what they want: a publication that acknowledges them and takes note of their attitudes and beliefs.”
What’s still not fully understood is that the buying power of the black working class – the “guy in the blue overall” – has replaced that of the white middle class. “Many advertisers still talk about the Chevy guy of the Seventies but he’s not the average man any more.”
Du Plessis says the paper’s success lies in putting its 5m readers’ needs first. “You might find the story of a tokoloshe ridiculous but for our readers it makes sense. And even during the elections we took a different approach to Zuma from other media because we understand our readers.”