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The People Versus Page 3

March 13, 2013

The People Versus Page 3


I’m not going to lie – The Sun is one of my favourite newspapers.  I was told once that the average edition of The Sun contained 8,000 words – compare this to an uneducated person knowing 35,000 words or the majority of people understanding 50,000 – this is a paper that could cover the same topics as it’s broadsheet rivals in significantly less words.  No mean achievement.

The Sun was a habit – I would pick it up at the train station and by the end of the 20 minute journey, I had finished – and while none the wiser – had enjoyed the journey.  You can’t help but laugh at headlines such as ‘SUPER CALEY GO BALLISTIC, CELTIC ARE ATROCIOUS’, ‘FREDDIE STARR ATE MY HAMSTER’ or ZIP ME UP BEFORE YOU GO GO’ when George Michael was arrested.

It’s not just me that had this routine – for many, The Sun is a British institution and up until recently, Page 3 where (and I’m quoting Wikipedia here) – a large photograph of a topless female glamour model is published with ‘news in brief’ – an example of which is below

Becky is concerned by the prospect of electoral reform in a hung parliament.  She said “in legislatures with proportional representation …you get the view …

Recently however, there’s been a push to remove the Page 3 girl with Lego publicly withdrawing its advertising budget – stating:

”Last week’s promotion was the final of a two-year agreement and there are no further promotions planned in The Sun.  We listen very carefully to the opinions and input that people share, and will take your thoughts and opinions into consideration when reviewing future promotions”

Add in a social media campaign – No More Page 3 – and you now have The Sun considering changing a considerable element of its brand for the first time since 1970.

There’s a couple things that a brand in this position needs to do.  Choose who you listen to wisely.  Social media is a vocal voice but it only represents a portion of the reading population.  It’s often the vehicle to complain and represents the angry mob rather than wider public.  That being said, it’s important to understand what Page 3 represents in the overall brand – too often, we see brands that are afraid to change as they think it will alienate their loyal customers.  However, it’s unlikely (well, we hope) that Page 3 is driving The Sun habit and present readers with another reward, and the habit will remain.

Then take the advertiser perspective – if we’ve learnt anything from #vileKyle or the Royal Prank, once the punters get involved, the advertisers will follow the lead of Lego, and this ‘news’, will spread over social media.  Act quickly and it can be contained.  What type of PR do you want to capitalize on – we’re predicting that the reputation and social buzz of Lego is probably riding high right about now.

So the question is – who’s connecting with their customers better at the moment – Lego or The Sun – and is it better to start a new chapter or leave a page unturned.



In 2010 Marina Abramovic, an artist, performed ‘The Artist Is Present’ as part of her MoMa show, where she shared a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. A past love and fellow artist Ulay (Uwe Laysiepen) arrived without her knowing.  They had had an intense relationship, breaking up in Continue reading


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