News brands have had a bad rap over the last decade. Newspapers have been written off as old, declining media, out of touch with modern audiences. Despite the huge growth in digital audiences for news brands, they still haven’t been perceived as shiny or new enough. The lure of social media and new types of influencers has been too strong. Surveys show that both marketers and agencies view news brands as low in the pecking order for both brand building and sales effectiveness.

This issue has been exacerbated by the industry’s attitude to online advertising, a world of hyper-targeting and personalisation. Digital planning has birthed a view that it doesn’t matter where you reach your audience online, and that all impressions are equal. That’s a bit like saying that TV, radio, and outdoor are the same, which is clearly not true. They all have different roles to play in a successful and effective media campaign. And the same is true for online media, full of different types of content, a lot of it from so-called offline media. Someone on a transactional site online is going to be in a different mindset to when they are watching video-on-demand, or to when they are reading a digital news brand.