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Weekly gives away more than £30,000 of ads in industry ‘first’

A weekly newspaper has given away more than £30,000 of advertising for free in a bid to help local businesses coming out of lockdown.

The Times of Tunbridge Wells published a special edition today in which all advertising was carried free of charge, in what it says is an industry first.

More than 80 clients of the Times were told their regular ads would be printed as usual at no cost to them this week.

The ads range from full pages, to half pages and quarter pages, while notices for smaller independents which have never had the budget to pay for adverts have also been published.

Times ad

Editorial director Richard Moore said: “It’s our way of going the extra mile to help others as we come out of lockdown.

“As far as we know it will be the first time it has happened in the UK. Some newspapers have given free ads but not for the entire run of the paper.

“We were launched five years ago with a remit to support local business and the community and that’s just what we’re doing in these unprecedented times; taking our own unprecedented action.”

The move comes after the Times ran a month-long ‘Back to Business” campaign profiling dozens of smaller businesses and independents free of charge earlier this summer.

Richard added: “This new initiative is also our way of thanking those advertisers who have supported us since the first lockdown.

“We rely solely on an income stream from advertisements to keep us in business.”