The Daily Mail is under fire for excluding independent retailers from its free DVD offers.

Last month front-page adverts offered free DVDs of Cliff Richard films, which could only be collected from Tesco and WH Smith outlets.

West Sussex retailer Steve Denham said it was unfair of the Daily Mail to force indie retailers to advertise competitors in their stores. "If the Mail wishes to continue to block independents from this type of promotion then they must stop using us as advertising boards for their chosen few. If they want to tell readers where to go then do it inside, not on the front page in a manner that disrespects my business."

Associated Newspapers circulation director Neil Jagger said: "We put DVDs into WH Smith and Tesco because they have a branding that our readers recognise and, therefore, know where to pick up their DVDs."

Steve added: "They just don't understand the independent newsagent channel. This approach has consequences as it indicates that newspapers can no longer be seen as a cornerstone product group for community retailers."