Nationals Call for Tablet App Ad Standards

Newsworks, the marketing body part-owned by all of the UK’s major national newspaper publishers has launched an initiative to help create standards in advertising on newspaper tablet apps.

The Tablet Project is looking to create case studies that will help build industry understanding around click-through-rates, dwell times and other engagement metrics for newspaper tablet ads.

The results will be based on tablet campaigns run in October and November – with a minimum agency spend of £15,000 needed for the tests  – which will be matched in free space by the publishers. The project is limited to five key sectors: retail, finance, motors, tech & telecoms and FMCG. Although the participating agencies will have to stump up to participate, Vanessa Clifford, client services and strategy director at Newsworks, told Mobile Marketing that this is all for the greater good.

“There is still debate around the best way to measure; whether we call it impressions or circulation, or whatever the equivalent, that is still ongoing. But clients are already spending money on tablet advertising and they’re only getting an isolated idea of what’s happening. They can’t tell whether the results are good, bad or indifferent. This is about working out what ‘good’ looks like in the same way we have for online,” she said.

The media owners must give over all their analytics from the test campaigns – whichever platform they are using. “The fragmentation here is also another bit of the problem”, Clifford said. “The clients also have certain numbers – what happened afterwards – which the project leaders will also need to know.”

Asked whether they may be room to repeat the project for newspaper apps on smartphones, she said: “Tablet apps are slightly further down the evolution for news brands compared to smartphone apps. All of the newspapers we look after are now multiplatform brands, many with strong tablet apps and a mobile presence, so this is a step in the right direction for understanding each of those platforms and what people do with them.”

Alex Kozloff, head of mobile at the IAB, welcomed the launch of the project. She said: “Anything that helps clients understand tablets better is a useful tool. We get an awful lot of interest around tablets from advertisers. They’re excited about the opportunities but there isn’t masses of information. It’s very difficult to get a cross-industry view on things likes click-through-rate so this initiative makes sense.”