News UK is to launch a native advertising-dedicated division, which will be spearheaded by Sunday Times editor Tiffanie Darke.
Darke will step down from her role as editor of Style magazine to head up the new unit, which has been created to help brands deepen their engagement with the Sunday Times and The Sun’s audiences via commercial tie-ups.
Darke is now in the process of recruiting a team for the unit, which will launch in the next few months.
Newspapers must be continuously seeking new and “inventive” ways to help brands engage with their audiences, according to Darke.
“Just as newspapers have been quick and dynamic in their editorial strategies to reach their readers, we have to be just as inventive and ambitious in the ways we help brands use papers to speak to their audiences.
“I am hugely excited about the opportunities this move offers, and very much looking forward to raising the bar on the quality of commercial content we are going to produce,” she said.
News UK Commercial’s director of ad strategy Abba Newbery, said the paid-for model of the titles renders their audiences more receptive to the tailored advertising the publisher can provide.
“News UK’s commercial strategy is built on deep engagement with influential audiences. We have an unparalleled relationship with a high-quality, highly-engaged, well-profiled audience that believes our content is worth paying for. We can prove that our audiences pay more attention to advertising as a result of their engagement. There is a significant opportunity for us as the largest newspaper publisher to lead the market in identifying and developing new ways in which brands can leverage this relationship. Darke’s new unit will spearhead this project.”
Darke, who worked for The Sunday Times for more than 12 years, will continue to contribute to the magazine.
Jackie Annesley, editor of The Sunday Times News Review section and former head of features at the Evening Standard, has been appointed acting editor for Style.