News International ups its brand insight investment

News International is significantly increasing its in-vestment in consumer and brand insight, as it continues to strengthen its marketing arm.

Among the developments, it has partnered YouGov to establish a new brand tracker and reader panel. The insight team will be headed by Rob Painter, who has been promoted from head of planning and insight to director of insight. Painter has replaced Stuart Corke, who is moving into a new role which has yet to be confirmed.

It is believed the tie-up with YouGov is worth £500,000. Activity will include brand tracking for Times Media and News Group Newspapers.

The joint venture will be used to continuously monitor the brand health of News International titles, which include The Sun, News of the World, The Times and The Sunday Times.

This includes tracking the impact of marketing activity such as the recent Sunday Times brand campaign, as well as the longer-term impact of product changes.

Painter, who commissioned the initiative with YouGov, says: “Despite difficult conditions in the wider economy, this insight programme reflects News International’s commitment under James Murdoch [chairman and chief executive of News Corporation Europe and Asia] to increasing investment in marketing.”

Brand tracking and the reader panel had been previously handled on a smaller scale by Ipsos Mori and SGRL respectively.

Previously, the insight team reported to Clive Milner in his former position as group managing director for newspapers. He has since moved into the role of chief operating officer.

As part of the changes, the insight team will now be aligned with the marketing division, with Painter reporting to the chief marketing officer – a newly created role yet to be filled.

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