News & Opinion

Newsworks' Pattison to chair electronic transaction project

David Pattison, chairman of Newsworks, is to chair a Steering Group inviting proposals to tender for an electronic transaction system between agencies and publishers

The system is intended to automate bookings across newspapers’ print and digital audiences, bringing efficiencies and breaking down silos within agencies and newsbrands.

The IPA and media agencies will be closely involved in the project, known as the Publishers Advertising Transaction System (PATs), through membership of the Steering Group. The other members of the Steering Group will include senior representatives from the UK’s six leading newspaper publishers, as well as agencies, the IPA and Rufus Olins, chief executive of Newsworks.

Tenders for the project will be issued next month and assessed by the Steering Group, which is being assisted by Pactus, a technology procurement specialist consultancy. Trish Kill of TKC will be project manager.

The initiative follows a scoping exercise conducted by MediaTel Group, on behalf of Newsworks and the NPA. This involved interviews with more than 130 publisher and agency executives, who expressed enthusiasm for the project.

Reponses to the invitation to tender are likely to come from a diverse range of companies with experience of tech and transaction projects in the media space.

Pattison said: "We are conducting a comprehensive tender process, exploring all the avenues, to identify the best-possible partner for this transformative project."

The NPA Council is behind the initiative and will be asked to green light the investment required to build the system when the Steering Group recommends a partner later this year.

The system will have the flexibility to accommodate magazine and regional newsbrand publishers at a later date.

Lynne Robinson, research director at the IPA, said: "We very much welcome this initiative led by Newsworks and the NPA. The future becomes ever more complex for both buyers and sellers, so any new technology which makes the booking processes more efficient is doubly welcome."


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