They say 'Happy Birthday' is the most popular song in the world. Well, that certainly seems to be the case at the Oriental Press Group. Not only is the company halving the price of the Sun to $3 today to celebrate the paper's seventh anniversary, it also plans to launch a marketing campaign to celebrate the 37th anniversary of the flagship Oriental Daily News, even though neither of these momentous birthdays actually takes place until next year. Of course, it has nothing to do with the fact that either paper feels threatened by the two new free tabloids - Sing Tao News Corp's Headline Daily and property agency boss Shih Wing-ching's am730 - hitting the streets a few months ago. 'We don't think the free dailies are better than the Sun. They are really very poor, only copying news from other media. In contrast, our strength is our news team,' the Sun declared in an editorial comment yesterday. Meanwhile, the Kung Fu Tea column in the Oriental Daily News announced that, from today, readers of both papers would be able to make use of a tear-out $3 supermarket coupon that effectively meant they could get the Sun for free. Yet another case of 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em' stunt. journal misses target And while we are on the subject of free newspapers, just-renamed the Wall Street Journal Asia gave away copies when it launched its new tabloid-format paper in Central on Monday. 'We distributed the paper to our target readers in places such as Exchange Square and IFC in the morning rush hour,' said a Journal spokesperson. 'Target' being the operative word, when the mother of Media Eye's girlfriend tried several times to get a free copy at a distribution point outside the Centre, she was refused each time. 'They were only giving the paper to smartly dressed people and those in business suits,' she said. Back to the Journal spokesperson: 'We don't discriminate against anyone in Hong Kong and would like to apologise to her.' endangered livelihood Still on the subject of free newspapers, the recently listed Hong Kong Economic Times has launched a readership campaign by giving away various sections of the paper - financial news, local news and features - in Quarry Bay and Central. The newspaper is obviously keen to improve its circulation growth after announcing a 6 per cent rise to 85,000 in the first half of the year. Our only question is, with so many publications being given away free around town, how are the newspaper sellers making a living these days? race for mobile readers Mobile phones are meant to be able to do everything but make tea. So it is only a matter of time before we would be able to read our favourite publications on a 3G handset screen. The race to offer content to 3G subscribers is on, with Sing Tao News Corp's youth title East Touch magazine and Emperor Group's Weekend Weekly joining this week. They have partnered Peoples Telephone, soon to be acquired by mainland giant China Mobile. East Touch content available on handsets includes its cover story and snippets about trendy gadgets in the latest issue. 'We hope to explore a new revenue stream through content sales to mobile operators and as a new marketing channel to reach potential readers,' said Sing Tao Magazine Group's chief operating officer Gary Tsui. But it is not just traditional media turning to mobile phones to expand business. Online marketplace eBay has joined forces with Hong Kong CSL to offer its online bidding site to handset users. But Media Eye advises people to keep an eye on their phone bills, as mobile internet charges are not as cheap as voice tariffs.