News Int aims to sell ads like Google

News International is overhauling the way it sells advertising on its digital and print products to match the way TV and internet ads are sold.


The media owner is investing in simplifying its processes so that certain high volume and low cost advertisers, such as people looking to place notices in the classifieds section, can book ads online without the need to speak to the sales team.

Paul Hayes, News International Commercial’s managing director, says: “If you look at the way that Google and Facebook interact with advertisers, you don’t have to go through a sales person…why aren’t we doing it?”

Earlier this year News International brought on board former ITV commercial director Gary Digby to consult on how to make its sales process more akin to a TV trading model.

Hayes says as a result, News International is also looking to streamline the sales process for its higher value clients to ensure that once a deal has been signed, ads are guaranteed to be placed seamlessly, without the need for further negotiation or admin.

“We are changing the trading model – other media do [ad sales] better than press. We have a lot of sales people and media buyers still trading space in the same way they did 25 years ago,” he says.

He adds that the new processes will mean its commercial staff can focus on selling more creative ad packages, such as space around Olympics coverage or sponsorship deals like Tesco’s partnership with its Captain Crunch editorial product.

News International has streamlined its commercial team, from seven down to three direct reports to Hayes, to implement the new multiplatform sales process.

The restructure saw the appointment of News International trading director Dominic Carter as commercial director and creative solutions director Abba Newbery taking the role of director of advertising strategy. The company’s agencies include CHI & Partners, WCRS&Co amd VCCP.

The overhaul marks the near culmination of former chief executive Rebekah Brooks’ internal review, dubbed “Changing the Game”, that looked to investigate how the company can “invest smarter” in multiplatform content.

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