Actions possible over Tribune stunt

Independent News & Media (INM) and the National Consumer Agency (NCA) may sue Associated Newspapers Ireland over its Irish Mail on Sunday special edition at the weekend when it ran with a pretend Sunday Tribune masthead and front page design without permission in an effort to increase sales.

Mail Sunday Tribune Cover

The Irish Mail on Sunday with a wraparound cover of the Sunday TribunePhoto: The Irish Times

Publication of the Sunday Tribune has been put on hold until the end of February while the receiver, McStay Luby, tries to find a buyer or a group of new investors. Associated Newspapers published 25,000 copies of the Irish Mail on Sunday with a cover wrap designed to replicate the Tribune on shelves.

INM plans to make a formal complaint to the National Newspapers of Ireland (NNI) and will request that Associated Newspapers be expelled from the industry body. The move was described by the NUJ as a new low in journalism. Tribune editor Noirin Hegarty said she was “appalled and shocked”.

The editor of the Irish Mail on Sunday, Sebastian Hamilton, defended the marketing exercise. He said the group employs 161 staff in Ireland, compared to 43 people at the Tribune. The Irish Mail on Sunday is written, edited and printed in Ireland. He said the paper had a track record of investigative stories.

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