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Guardian adopts challenger ethos

News, 11 June 2015
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SAN FRANCISCO: The Guardian, the London-based print and online news provider, is making the transition from "establishment" to "challenger" brand as it strives to progress in America.

Eamonn Store, chief executive of the organization's US operations, discussed this subject at ad:tech San Francisco 2015.

In the UK, he asserted, the Guardian has approximately 200 years of history – and equity – to draw upon.

"It's very much an establishment brand," said Store. (For more, including five guiding principles for challenger brands, read Warc's exclusive report: UK's "Guardian": A feisty US start-up.)

Having only recently entered the American market, however, the demands there are very different. "In the US, we're a much different brand: we're two years old, so we're very young here," he added.

Store joined Guardian News & Media in July 2014. Previously, he worked for media agency network MEC, giving him a clear understanding of what is required for brands to succeed when entering new markets.

"I think of us as sort of an opportunist challenger. We've grown into being a challenger brand; we're disruptive just by the nature of what we do and how we do it," he said.

More specifically, the news title – which claimed a Pulitzer Prize last year for its coverage of the Edward Snowden revelations on government surveillance – is aiming to disrupt many of the big names in American news.

"We're challenging complacency in journalism, and I'd say we're challenging authenticity – the independence of news and what's reported," said Store.

"If you look at key research, and pretty much any independent research in the US, the trust in news has never been lower.

"There are so many well-documented examples of 'legacy' news brands that are holding on stories because they're financed by advertisers, because they've got a bias around their opinion."

Data sourced from Warc

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