Johnston Press launches digital advertising platform

Ashley Highfield
Ashley Highfield

Johnston Press, publishers of the Burnley Express, has announced the launch of an innovative digital advertising platform, 1XL, together with Local World, Newsquest and the majority of the UK’s independent local media businesses.

The launch represents another important strategic development for Johnston Press, enhancing the Group’s ability to deliver its digital growth strategy.

The platform will, for the first time, provide national brands with local media advertising coverage across the UK via a single sales point.

Bringing together over 800 websites, 1XL will enable advertisers to reach over 17.5m monthly unique users* nationwide, more monthly unique users than any single commercial UK national news media website and similar in scale to digital advertising platforms such as AOL and MSN.

Under the terms of the collaboration, selected digital advertising inventory will be marketed via a dedicated media sales team at Mediaforce, the largest independently owned media sales company in the UK. The platform will optimise audience targeting and maximise the performance of advertising campaigns by drawing on data from all of the participating media groups, third party data, semantic and contextual targeting

capabilities. It will also enable advertising to be served around the most relevant and engaging content, underpinned by Mediaforce’s geo-demographic analysis and insight.

Ashley Highfield, chief executive of Johnston Press and a former senior executive at Microsoft, said local newspaper web content is of better quality than a lot of internet content where advertisers currently commit their spend.

“Having run one of those other US portals, in the UK the difference is this is top-quality content, delivered by trusted journalists,” he said. “The network is of the same scale of the big American portals, is of top quality and micro-addressable.”