Category Archives: The Sun

Mirror’s Mobile Traffic Reaches 73 Per Cent at Weekends

The Mirror has relaunched its website using responsive design, managing to significantly condense and declutter its content for mobile browsers compared to those accessing via desktop.  

Advertising currently running on the site when accessed using a mobile device is limited to banners for the company’s PaperPay app, while those using desktop will see a full takeover advertising Mirror Bingo. 

The publisher has also revealed that its UK mobile traffic now beats desktop at every hour of the weekend, according to stats shared with The Media Briefing.  On Sunday mornings, mobile’s share grows to 73 per cent of traffic, while weekdays see mobile traffic plummet as workers move back to their desks. 

Trinity Mirror is currently pushing its credential’s as a free online newspaper, aiming to fight off its main rival The Sun, which has moved behind a paywall. The Sun does not have a mobile-optimised website.  Trinity Mirror made a pre-tax profit of 2.5 per cent in H1 2013, reaching £49.3m, although ad revenues declined by 12.6 per cent to £132.1m.  

Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here: http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.com/content/mirror%E2%80%99s-mobile-traffic-reaches-73-cent-weekends#d00OyigUl1iXR39r.99

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Sun Erects Digital Paywall

The Sun’s digital content is now behind a paywall, costing subscribers £2 per week after a trial period of two months’ access for just £1. 

The Sun’s website – which isn’t optimised for mobile browsers – along with its apps can now only be accessed by paying subscribers. A spokesperson confirmed that the company’s apps will still offer ad placements to advertisers looking to reach its audience behind the paywall. 


The digital package can be accessed on iPhone 4 plus or Android handests running version 2.3 and above, but Sun+Goals football content and Sun+Perks offers require iOS6 or Android 4.3 to work.


Print readers can also be part of the fun if they collect 20 unique codes from the newspaper, which will grant them a month’s access to Sun+ across desktop, mobile and tablet.


Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here: http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.com/content/sun-erects-digital-paywall#SUZEfG5tDrSpumdJ.99

Will I be pretty, will I be rich?



If, like me, you aren’t wealthy or sexy, last week really wasn’t your week. But when is it ever your week? That’s why fashion and adverts were created right? Shoulda, woulda, coulda etc etc etc.
While you’re checking your back fat in the mirror I know your mind has been wandering back to the inevitable question… “WHO IS BRITAIN’S SEXIST WOMAN?

Worry not. It’s Sexy Week at The Sun. Which means our British beauties have been adorning the paper’s pages for your perusal. “Britain has indeed Got Talent – just look at those endless legs!” the piece assures us when commenting on pop idol and BGT on Ice judge Alesha Dixon. Does Arctic Monkey gf 34B Katie tickle your fancy, or good old blonde Rhian Sugden, 26? Both were huge hits on Page 3, if that helps clarify your thoughts. Whose assets do you most admire? With your crucial decision made, you can pop along and vote for your Brittiest Brit on The Sun’s website.

Yet you can’t vote for your Brittiest man, lest he feel ogled and ashamed like the first in the queue at the wedding buffet. Rather unfair I hear you say. Fortunately another ‘who’s who’ went live recently, the Sunday Time’s Brit Rich List. Unfortunately, this is less of a democratic, participatory process, more of a cold hard numbers game. But if you have a penchant for unattractive, older gentlemen, this is your lucky day. STOP PRESS. BALD AGING MAN HAS MORE MONEY THAN YOU.

The top 10 is notably absent of women, much like most who’s whos as we calmly demonstrate our way through the glass ceiling, a former Miss UK makes it in at number nine with her monied hubby. And another rounds of the shortlist along with Mr Rich having both inherited her father’s Heineken fortune. I’m sure he loved her for her great sense of humour and not all the money and free booze. Unlike The Sun’s list, just one of the top 10 rich Britons is British born. And they’re all pretty not-sexy; apart from their wallets.

The Queen (wealthy winner of the Rich List when it started in 1989) isn’t a noted GILF, so she hasn’t even made the shortlist of 50 British fitties. She even slipped down the wealth rankings when they decided not to count her land. Coz as her loyal subjects we really all own her land and can run rabid at Buckingham Palace just like Prince Harry. Wait…

So do you fancy yourself as a regular Billie Piper in a cocktail glass (see image) or are you and your brother just dying to be the next Sri and Gopi Hinduja? They’re billionaire exporters, if you’re into that… Well here’s the disheartening bit.

The BBC notes that in 1989 you would have need ed wealth of £30m (about £65m today) to make it into the Rich Lists top 200. Last year, to get into that same 200, you would have needed £450m. In 1989 the wealth of the top 200 amounted to £38bn. Last year it added up to £289bn. And you actually have to be ‘sexy’ to get into the Sexy Week list. While mere mortals can only learn from Gok Wan one series at a time, it actually turns out that having a bit of dollar isn’t too bad for getting into the fit list either. There’s a Jagger on both. Handy if you’ve got genes like Jagger; less so if you can’t quite afford Jagger’s jeans.

The moral of the story…? Wealth doesn’t guarantee attractiveness, but it can’t hurt. And being hot might make you a bit rich, à la Knightley and Middleton, but you might have to suffer loads of blokes – and even women – staring and judging you for the rest of your life.

Just remember, many studies have shown, that there is no direct link between wealth and happiness. Yes, that is probably just what a poor and unattractive person would say.
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Illustration by Ben Rider

Written for and first published here: http://www.letsbebrief.co.uk/kirsty-styles-will-i-be-pretty-will-i-be-rich/

Turning the tide of media sexism

Written for and first published here: http://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/kirsty-styles/turning-tide-of-media-sexism

Comedy and social media are targeting Britain’s Page 3 culture. With Lord Leveson’s inquiry lashing the tabloid press for ‘reckless prioritising’ of sensation, now is the time for activists is to reach out beyond the middle class Twittersphere says Kirsty Styles…

Peter Ustinov said that comedy is simply a funny way of being serious. So a comedy show put on by two young women who have created very modern campaigns to highlight and change the way women are seen and treated in Britain was the perfect setting to laugh, and look seriously, at 21st century Britain.

Lucy-Anne Holmes, who started the No More Page 3 petition, and Laura Bates, founder of The Everyday Sexism Project, presented the Stand Up to Sexism show with the tagline ‘get your gags out for the girls’ at a historic theatre in London’s West End. Comedians gave their time for free for the cause. A crowd of 600 raised £4,000 for the End Violence Against Women campaign and proved that two young women can think, do and lead.

For over four decades, Britain’s leading national daily newspaper, The Sun, has featured a large photograph of a semi-naked woman on page 3. ‘Page 3’ is now synonymous in British culture with a woman’s breasts. Holmes’s campaign aims to close that chapter in British newspaper history. But even in the midst of the biggest crisis to hit the British media sector this century, with a massive formal inquiry into press culture and ethics, the Sun’s editor, when giving evidence to Lord Leveson, felt quite able to justify his paper’s commitment to reporting the news of girls in their knickers. He said that he believed the daily photograph was ‘meant to represent the youth and freshness’ and ‘celebrate natural beauty’ and amounted to an ‘innocuous British institution’.

At the comedy show Viv Groskop, a writer, broadcaster and stand-up comedian, highlighted that Page 3 ‘celebrated’ its 42nd birthday the same weekend as the gig. “That’s more than 13,000 editions. 26,241 nipples. Why the one?” she asked. “Melinda Messenger had her hand over her tit on one picture. Was it a protest? Was it a cry for help? Or was she just a bit chilly? We are not saying ‘boo’ to nipples, but boo to the outing of nipples. When you’ve seen that many, it’s not really news anymore. Yes, we still have nipples.”

Lucy Porter, compere for the evening, has built a successful career as a female comic, in a media environment where even she wasn’t immune from the sexist culture. In the 90s, she worked as an assistant producer at the BBC. When she was groped by a well-known male DJ, her superior said ‘come on love, laugh it off’.

“But the people who were laughing loudest and longest were the men who were getting away with it. One tragedy of being a woman is that, when you can finally stand up for your tits, pervs don’t want to touch them anymore.” There are stereotypes of feminists as ‘man hating lesbians’.  “But the women who really hate men tend to be heterosexual,” she said. “It seems there is nothing like sleeping with someone of that sex to lower your opinion of them,” she laughed.

She wasn’t surprised that the No More Page 3 campaign was taking off. “It’s creepy and weird… I’m hopeful for the future of feminism,” she said. “These campaigns have been created by young women with lots to say.”

She noted that what was once called ‘being a twat’ has been rebranded as ‘banter’. Her husband told her a joke, “watching your wife giving birth is like seeing your favourite pub burn down… Misogyny can sound quite funny at first. But ‘banter’ is actually men saying things that they know are unacceptable.”

It’s hard to underestimate the power that social media is giving to both campaigns, helping to build sufficient profile to fill a major London theatre for a fundraising night of comedy. ‘Humourless’ feminists have come a long way and the sound of tables being turned is getting louder. Holmes is collecting signatures for her petition, which already has more than 55,000, with lots of work put in on Twitter to get people to see and share her vision. She also arranged a protest outside the Sun’s HQ. When the police arrive, they signed her petition.

#Everydaysexism’s Bates is collecting 140-character examples of sexist incidents experienced by women. In little over six months, 10,000 women have lodged their complaints. But her campaign still exists in a virtual world where #boobs is also regularly used by the Sun to direct its frothing audience to their site.

Kate Smurthwaite, said that Page 3 makes her feel ‘embarrassed’, especially when friends around the world happened upon this Great British institution.

The Sun is not the only culprit in the race for depravity, Kate noted. The latest issue of the satirical magazine Private Eye highlights this article: “Teenager Elle Fanning shows off her womanly curves… The 14-year-old took to Instagram to share a photograph of her Hallowe’en outfit and wasn’t afraid to flaunt her curves for the camera.” Not a paedophile website, no. But the Daily Mail, the world’s number one online site. Even in a media world rocked by the revelations of child abuse by the late entertainer Jimmy Savile, once one of the UK’s biggest TV stars, this is somehow considered ok.

Joe Wellspicked out Front magazine, where they proclaim a ‘no fake boobs’ policy. “Yes we objectify women like pieces of meat, but they are 100 per cent organic.” He said that when writer Laurie Penny said that there were not enough women on BBC television’s Newsnight, Katie Price, glamour model and reality TV and tabloid regular, was invited to talk about the ethics of breast implants. “By far the worst editorial decision of Newsnight to date. Like getting a pig to debate EU farming regulation.”

Tiffany Stevenson came out and told the audience about her ‘muffin top’. “But I’ve come out here and slagged myself off – why do that when I have magazines to do that for me?” She said it’s weird that as you grow older you almost ‘miss sexism’. “Would you mind not talking to my face, they’re right here,” she said pointing to her chest. “But that’s what I was told I was worth my whole life. Your whole self-worth is tied up in how you look.”

“People now get botox in their late 20s as a ‘preventative measure’. Let’s stop carving our faces up. It never looks better, you should own your face, own your years. It’s the same with technology. You can’t judge a Kindle by its cover. Soon kids will be saying ‘Do you remember books??’ ‘Hey, remember old people?’ STOP IRONING THE WORLD!”

Poet Sabrina Mahfouz performed her No More Page 3 poem, one of the first overtly political pieces she had written, but something she felt compelled to do when she saw the campaign. “Even though I’d gone to grammar school. Not glamour school. And I was at university. It seemed to me that the only way I could see to the top was through desirability – ‘cos that’s what I’d seen non-stop in the papers, magazines, films and on TV.”

“Now fast forward 10 years and I hear of this thing – No More Page 3 – and it makes me so happy to think that finally, 84 years after women won the right to vote through protest and death, newspapers might actually start to fill pages with the sagest and most outrageous words of powerful women.”

Bates closed the event by saying: “Page 3 is everyday sexism. For 42 years, the largest female image in the biggest selling newspaper has been a woman with her breasts on show. Women should be represented with more respect. A mum sent me a message on Twitter saying that her young daughter wished she could turn into a boy so she could go to space. A quarter of seven-year-olds have tried to lose weight. 80 per cent of 10 year olds have done the same. Against odds like those, no wonder she’s thinking she has to change who she is to be what she wants to be.”

The timing of these campaigns is significant. The crisis sweeping journalism has also implicated British politics and the government. Despite the soft pedalling in Lord Justice Leveson’s report on figures like Prime Minister Cameron and former Media Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt, the political fallout has plunged the coalition government and Parliament into splits and conflict. Leveson’s inquiryinto the British media was prompted by phone hacking at The News of the World, the Sun’s former Sunday ‘sister’ paper.

Even in the eye of a major political storm, leading British newspapers continue to publish sexist content with impunity with no detriment to their sales figures. Lucy Porter also noted that the Stand Up audience was a very middle-class show for a very middle-class audience. The next task then for No More Page 3 and Everydaysexism, at this moment of opportunity in the wake of the Leveson report, must be to take their campaigns beyond the Twittering classes, to the people who read the Sun and the people who don’t read much at all. So women everywhere can be sure that finally in the 21st century, they will know that assets means more than just breasts.