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The UK Association of Online Publishers (AOP) calls for web publishers to make more of the benefits of targeting content based on location. The call follows an AOP briefing held today (16th March) to address the applications of geo-targeting. As online measurement and targeting technologies develop, so do the opportunities for delivering content and advertisements tailored to where a website user is geographically located.

Today’s AOP geo-targeting briefing was held in response to calls from members and geo-targeting companies for publishers to better understand the opportunities offered by geo-targeting, and the ways it can help online publishers target online quality, branded content and advertising.

Mike Seery, chief information officer for The Economist and chair of AOP’s technical working group, introduced and moderated the session. He said: "There are many uses of geo-targeting systems for publishers, but perhaps the most prescient is to be able to deliver the most relevant content to our customers, whether that content is our own editorial content or from clients who wish to reach our audience."

Seery added: "We can exploit geo-targeting technology to deliver advertising that is more relevant to our audience and therefore command premium rates from our clients. Whether publishers choose to explore this, and the degree of accuracy (and therefore scale of cost) they need, will depend on their business model. This AOP briefing was a good way for publishers to jump-start their thoughts in this area."

Geo-targeting companies such as Quova and Digital Envoy now claim 99 per cent percentage accuracy for targeting to other countries, and at 95 per cent for targeting to UK cities.

Steve Sawyer, business development director for geo-targeting specialist firm Quova UK, claims that geo-targeting should be the focus for online publishers. Sawyer said: “It's no longer good enough for media owners to offer the same products, ads and promotions in the same language, messaging and currency to everyone, everywhere."

Sawyer joined Mike Seery of The Economist, Ramesh Kannan of DoubleClick, Stephen Betts of BBC News Online, Tor Gisvold of Centrecore and Andy Flint of ABC ELECTRONIC at the AOP briefing, which was attended by 50 representatives from media owners and agencies.

Sawyer continued: “In the bricks-and-mortar world, virtually every marketing decision is based at least partly on geography. Advertising, promotion, merchandising and distribution all require knowing where the customer is located and how that location impacts the customer's buying decisions. In the online world publishers must target their advertising content and promotional ideas to a local, regional or national customer base for maximum effectiveness.”

At the briefing, Andy Flint from ABC ELECTRONIC also announced that the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (JICWEBS), which agrees the standards by which ABCE carries out online audits, has approved the certification of page impressions, ad impressions and unique users by country.

ENDS
About AOP
The UK Association of Online Publishers (AOP) is an industry body representing online publishing companies that create original, branded, quality content. AOP champions the interests of approximately 160 publishing companies from diverse backgrounds including newspaper and magazine publishing, TV and radio broadcasting, and pure online media. Together they publish around 1,150 products and attract more than five billion page impressions per month.

AOP presents a unified voice to industry and Government, specifically to address issues and concerns relating to all areas of online publishing. AOP publishes original research, hosts forums, conferences and events, covering a range of topics from paid-for-content, subscription models and data protection, through to copyright, content management, new technologies and audience measurement.

Last year AOP produced the highly acclaimed research ‘Reaching the Online Elite’ and every year it delivers the annual member benchmarking study, the ‘AOP Census’. This year AOP will add to its original research with two new studies.

The AOP autumn Online Publishing Conference & Awards is its annual industry event. It attracts the biggest names in online publishing to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the industry and celebrate outstanding achievement.

Members include Associated New Media, BBC, BSkyB, Capital Radio Group, Channel 4, Dennis Interactive, The Economist Group, Emap, FT.com, Future Publishing, Guardian Unlimited, Haymarket Publishing, Independent Digital, IPC Media, ITV Online, News International, Reed Business Information, Telegraph Group Limited and Which?. In addition, PPAi (Periodical Publishers Association Interactive) retains a corporate seat on AOP board: representing the interests of magazine publishers online. www.ukaop.org.uk

For further information, please contact:

Katy Howell
immediate future Ltd
0845 408 2031
pressoffice@immediatefuture.co.uk

Published on: 12:00AM on 1st April 2005