Going native: Guardian opens local ‘agency’

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 19 September 2014

Native and content are the words on marketers’ lips and the Guardian is branching out to take advantage. It plans to launch its Guardian Labs branded content division in Australia, with the media company's global number two in Australia to get things moving.

Guardian Labs has been a part of its UK business since September 2013, officially launching in February this year, with the aim of operating like an agency within the Guardian News and Media group.

Brands appear to be flocking to content marketing. Kraft Foods’ director of data, content and media, Julie Fleischer, recently told AdAge that its content marketing delivers four times better ROI than targetted advertising, to the tune of 1.1 billion ad impressions a year.

Guardian News and Media deputy CEO David Pemsel told AdNews that the plan was to replicate the set up now making headway in the UK. "Guardian Labs is now a proper, respected, almost agency that answers briefs," he said. But the Australian market is cautious about stepping away from traditional advertising, local boss Ian McClelland admits.

The Guardian currently has a "micro version of the Guardian Labs" in Australia, which is essentially a brand partnership team and studio that taps into the main G-Labs unit in London. But the plan is to hire more staff in Sydney and Melbourne to help deliver better local output for local brands.

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