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Newspaper closures, David Beckham and Sylvester Stallone: The 10 best-read Prolific North stories of 2015


We’ve published thousands of stories this year, but which have proven the most popular with our readers?

Here we count down the top 10:


10. Tributes to “inspirational” TV producer Katy Jones after sudden death

Our countdown starts with one of the most tragic stories of the year, the unexpected death of Katy Jones, award-winning documentary-maker and BBC producer. Granada Reports presenter Lucy Meacock was one of many to pay tribute, describing her as “one of the finest journalists of her generation”.

9. Asda brings back ‘pocket tap’ as it launches new TV ad, slogan and logo

It was a difficult year for the region’s big supermarkets, with both Asda and Morrisons losing ground to the likes of Aldi and Lidl. Both their years were pockmarked by a variety of different marketing drives, and this story saw Leeds-headquartered Asda looking to the relative glories of their past by reviving the “famous” pocket tap, or rather #pockettap as it is now inevitably known. On the plus side, the jingle that accompanied it – yes, that one – was left in the box.

8. Exclusive: Williams & Glyn bank to relaunch with initial £30m comms budget

Our exclusive about the marketing plans for the RBS off-shoot is one of two stories on the list not to have been published in 2015. It actually derives from March 2014 and made it into last year’s top 10 as well. The bank, which has 316 branches and 1.8m retail customers, is set to be sold off in 2017, with Santander UK and Virgin Money among the names said to be interested.

gregory7. Managing director Richard Gregory departs Latitude

The departure of MD Richard Gregory from Latitude was the seventh best-read story of the year. A few months later the Warrington-based digital agency – now owned by Call Credit – announced a restructure of its business with 25 jobs put at risk.

6. Liverpool FC targeting “non-typical” sponsorship deals

Barely a week goes by without one of the leading football clubs announcing a sponsorship deal with an Italian footwear company or South Korean tyre company. Emboldened by its partnership with Nivea – which spawned an eyebrow-raising advert – Liverpool announced plans to go after other deals “besides airlines, beers and banks”.

One of Trinity's new titles, the Manchester Weekly News

5. MEN Media to close several weeklies and launch the Manchester Weekly News

It was another difficult year for the regional news industry – at least from a print perspective – and here was another of the big publishers attempting to come up with a way of making it work. The Weekly News was trumpeted as Britain’s biggest free weekly newspaper, but ultimately the result was less local news for the people of Stockport, Wilmslow, Tameside, Salford, Oldham and Trafford.

4. Judge Rinder films at MediaCityUK for ITV Daytime

Another story from 2014, Judge Rinder has now filmed over 150 episodes from Dock 10 in MediaCityUK.

3. H&M releases hilarious full-length ad starring David Beckham and comedian Kevin Hart

Another example of the old maxim: if you want page views, write about David Beckham. This seven-minute advert, created by the “John Lewis” agency Adam & Eve/DDB, was at least a fine example of the craft, managing a few genuinely mirthsome moments.

2. Sylvester Stallone advertising bread in Bolton: Watch as Rocky star launches £18m Warburtons campaign

The words “Sylvester Stallone” and “Warburtons loaf” had perhaps never been uttered in the same sentence before April this year, but this ad entwined Rambo with Bolton forever. If that wasn’t enough, the bread brand then outdid itself with an arguably even more inspired ad, this time calling in the Muppets to flog its giant Crumpets.

Samuel L Jackson's selfie in Blackpool

1. Tim Burton and Samuel L Jackson in Blackpool as filming begins on fantasy movie

And so to our 2015 winner. One of our string of exclusives or groundbreaking research reports, perhaps? Nah. A story about a Hollywood actor taking a selfie in Blackpool. Still, we’ll take it.

A very happy Christmas to all our readers – see you in 2016!

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