Sky forms AdSmart local ad partnership with Johnston Press

BSkyB has teamed up with UK local newspaper group Johnston Press to create a new targeted regional advertising partnership. 

Sky will make its new Sky AdSmart local product, which tailors TV ads according to household location and profile, avaialble to parts of Johnston Press’s sales network.

Separately, Sky has agreed to invest £5 million in Johnston Press, acquiring 13,676,149 new ordinary shares in the company.

From June, local companies will be able to create and deliver advertising campaigns that combine Johnston Press’s range of regional print titles and digital platforms with the use of Sky AdSmart local to create TV advertising focused on specific local markets.

The initiative will kick off in two regional markets covering Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield, and Milton Keynes, Northampton and Peterborough respectively.

Sky said it chose to partner with Johnston Press after discussions with a number of other media companies. The group records an average monthly audience of about 24.5 million across its portfolio of newspapers, lifestyle magazines and local news and e-commerce websites.

AdSmart local currently covers about one fifth of UK households. According to Sky, by removing the need to buy advertising over large regions, the platform allows small and medium-sized enterprises that have not hitherto advertised to begin doing so. According to the company, a quarter of the brands that have signed up for Sky AdSmart are either new to TV advertising or had previously left the market.

Sky says AdSmart has already been used by more than 100 advertisers including Tesco, Ocado and American Airlines. Local advertisers that have signed up include insurance group First Central, Wessex Garages, BMI Hospitals and the Hampshire Ford dealership Hendy.

“Johnston Press has been focused on its vision to become a truly multimedia business over the last two years.  This agreement with Sky is testament to the platform we have put in place.  That Sky has further demonstrated its conviction in our strategy by investing in our business is particularly encouraging,” said Ashley Highfield, CEO of Johnston Press and former BBC director of new media and technology.

“The strength of our sales team network and our relationships with small and medium-sized enterprises across the UK position us well to deliver a comprehensive portfolio of advertising and marketing solutions.  We already have 300,000 local business customers who benefit from our expertise and it is exciting that we will now be able to offer them Sky AdSmart local.”