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News UK’s commercial arm The Bridge appoints first programmatic head

News UK’s commercial arm The Bridge appoints first programmatic head

News UK’s commercial arm The Bridge, formed in April of this year, has appointed its first head of programmatic as it looks to unlock the value of its rich data set for advertisers and make programmatic a key pillar of its offering.

Ian Hocking, former head of agency and programmatic sales for eBay at Ad2One, will take up the role, working with News UK’s advertising partners to implement programmatic campaigns across its digital properties across The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times.

The publisher will also provide advertisers with the opportunity to link readers’ content consumption to their purchase habits as part of an upgrade to its targeting capabilities.

Hocking will work as part of the new strategy and partnerships department led by Oliver Lewis to build relationships with key agencies and clients and deliver advertising product strategy.

The creation of the role comes as News UK refocuses its digital strategy around four key pillars – video, programmatic, mobile and branded content. The new digital approach has also resulted in News UK implementing a new title-led approach for its properties in order to gain a clearer view of its audiences.

Dom Carter, chief commercial officer, News UK, said: “This appointment is a sign that we’re open for business for agencies and clients that want to run their campaigns programmatically. We’ve got unique and in-depth data about our readers that enable us to offer an unparalleled level of targeting within an influential and engaged audience.

“The four pillars of our digital strategy reflect the key areas of growth in our digital business. We’ve put significant investment into video, we have a large and rapidly growing mobile business, we lead the market in creative and innovative branded content campaigns such as our award-winning “Surprise Party” campaign for Morrisons and we now have a market-leading, data-driven programmatic offering.”

Ian Hocking, head of programmatic, The Bridge, said: “With nearly 21m unique users on The Sun’s digital properties and over 5.5m million on The Times and Sunday Times, News UK brings together a large premium audience and rich data set and is consequently well-positioned to offer great value to advertisers at this pivotal moment in the evolution of digital trading.”