Two Local World-owned weeklies have been accused of “declaring war” on an independent newspaper group which launched two new rival titles five months ago.
The Llanelli Star and Carmarthen Journal have both published a full-page advert comparing their circulation figures with those of the rival Llanelli Herald and Carmarthen Herald and encouraging people to advertise with them.
The advert published by both the Star and Journal this week compares their combined circulations with those of the Llanelli and Carmarthen Herald titles, saying they sell almost seven times more copies a week.
It claims that the Local World titles sell 22,431 copies a week compared to 3,300 for the two Herald newspapers.
The advert says this would mean that a £100 advert in the Journal and Star costs £17.83 per 1,000 copies sold, compared to £30.30 per 1,000 copies for an advert in the Herald titles.
“However, their adverts tell their readers that we are selling thousands of papers every week, and we will clearly put the message out we are getting bigger all the time.
“The adverts in the Star and Journal are in my view self defeating. The ad is clearly aimed at businesses, but people who are smart enough to be in business will be smart enough to know that what our rivals have done smacks of desperation.
“We have not yet been in print for six months and we are making waves in Carmarthenshire.”
In a memo to staff, Thomas wrote that they would keep selling their papers at a lower price than the Local World titles and said: “Our circulation is on the way up, theirs is on the way down.”
The Herald titles have a cover price of 50p, while the Local World titles sell for 75p.
Both the Star and Journal have declined to comment on the advert.