Germany's best-selling newspaper was given away free to almost all of the country's 41 million households on Saturday in a controversial celebration of the daily's 60th anniversary that set a world record for largest circulation.
Bild newspaper - a tabloid-style daily feared and respected for its massive influence in Germany but also known for its hard-hitting campaigns and photos of nude women - sent 41 million copies to all but 200,000 postal addresses of people who expressly requested not to receive Saturday's newspaper.
Free Bild for everyone! wrote the daily in two-inch high letters on page one above an open letter from editor in chief Kai Dieckmann. Bild is celebrating its 60th birthday today. And this newspaper is a birthday present for you, he wrote.
Bild said Guinness World Records in Germany has certified the print run as the largest circulation for the free special edition of a newspaper.
Bild, which likes to pride itself for having its finger on the pulse of what makes ordinary Germans tick, normally costs 70 US cents per issue.
Critics of the newspaper organised a boycott of the free delivery and about 200,000 people filled out forms requested they not receive the Saturday edition. Bild said that represented 0.6% of German households.
According to media reports, Bild had a daily circulation in the 1980s of 5 million before falling to about 3 million now.