The Dominion Post has been running an aggressive campaign in our neighbourhood…free newspaper five days a week for three weeks…the promotion has just ended.

Nearly every driveway in the local environs had the promotional paper – you could tell promotion from actual by the distinctive packaging.

Last night I got a call from the Fairfax call-centre: Did I enjoy my free paper? I did. Would I like to subscribe? Tell me more? We can offer you the Dominion Post for 14 or 26 weeks at half the price of the newsagent or dairy. That’s a good offer [pause]…[longer pause]…but, no thanks.

Well, I might be regretting it today, but whether I have let go of a good offer or not I couldn’t help wonder what this promotion was telling me about the current state of Dominion Post subscriptions.

I’m left with the impression that things are not great in newspaper-land. That was an offer almost too good to be true – it almost smacked of desperation. While retail spending is down and shops are offering a routine 50-70% off the RRP the same heavy discounting seems to be happening in the world of newspapers.

If it had been the NZ Herald I might have said yes.

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