FT rolls out semantic advertising service globally to boost campaign performance

Financial Times (FT) has extended its semantic advertising service ‘Smart Match’, letting global clients match their content to news stories in real time across FT.com.

The newspaper has been trialling the service, which uses technology from Smartology to recognise the meaning and context of articles, since June 2011.

Now it has extended the service globally, meaning advertisers can tap into a new technology called semantic profiling, which analyses text with the view to marrying up the appropriate advertising content alongside.

Engagement rates for advertisers’ content have jumped “tenfold” since the start of the trials, according to the publisher.

RBS, Robeco Asset Management and IMD are among the 12 brands signed up as launch partners, with the rest spanning a mix of verticals including energy and IT conglomerates.

The move marks a step change in the publisher’s display advertising strategy.

Jon Slade, FT's commercial director, global digital advertising and insight, said: "Delivering relevant content from our advertising partners in a timely and transparent way has proven to be a very attractive proposition for brands and readers.

"The FT is committed to providing the utmost value to our advertisers by helping them reach our exclusive and highly sought-after audience in environments that are complementary and engaging."

The launch follows the news that FT publisher Pearson has found sold for Mergermarket Group for £382m, although it has confirmed the FT is not for sale despite speculation it might be sold as part of the company’s education-focused strategy.

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