Future forms in-house agency to develop native content

Future Publishing is forming an in-house agency to gain greater editorial oversight of sponsored content as interest from advertisers in the medium continues to grow.

T3Mobile-Product-2013_460
T3 is one of the titles Future Publishing will deliver attempt to create more sponsored content for.

The production house, dubbed Ngin, will consist of editorial teams separate from those of its titles when it launches later this month. Members will work on advertorials, promoted posts, ad formats and videos tailored to specific magazine brands. Ngin will also taken on more strategy-led projects including audience insight, dedicated editorial, content marketing, innovative solutions, project management and results analysis.

It is a growing practice among many publishers, however Future says the creative hub differs from rivals because it sits within its commercial division. Editors will work closely with both sales teams and advertisers in an attempt to circumvent what the publisher claims is the “church and state” attitude towards branded content that exists in the print world.

The move aims to bring more structure to advancements to Future’s digital marketing services offering over the last 12 months. It has been pulling editorial resources from various titles as and when it was awarded work by brands such as O2 and Tesco in the hopes of securing a bigger slice of ad budgets from agencies.

Nick King, digital commercial director at Future, says Ngin will allow it to exert more editorial control over branded content appearing across its sites, an issue that is a key concern for those media owners calling for the introduction of native advertising best practice guidelines.

He adds: “Advertisers are starting to realise that careful management is needed to ensure their content is relevant and does not have a negative impact on the online experience by serving readers with unwanted promotional messages.

“There is a constant debate around what is native advertising but there’s a value debate to be had around what is not native advertising. It’s not about doing a site takeover and getting a PR release in there. [Through Ngin] we’re trying to communicate that value to advertisers by having the editorial members drive the creative idea rather than through the sales person who would have freelanced [the work] out to a variety of people in the past.”

The move is underpinned by the publisher having more funds to invest in new ad formats as a result of developments to the automated buying of ad inventory. Media owners including IPC Media, Dennis Publishing and Conde Nast are pursuing similar strategies in the hopes of creating new revenue sources at time when many are still trying to build sustainable business models around digital platforms.

Jim Ranson, director of advertising at Future, says, “As the market develops clients and agencies expect us to deliver ever more complex campaigns. Whether it is creating video and content that is used both within our sites and beyond, through to tailored creative that works for the specific campaign Future is now in a position to offer and crucially deliver all these facets of a campaign.”

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