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UK newspapers and media agencies launch automated buying system PATS for mobiles and tablets

With mobiles and tablets apparently taking over the ad world – hardly surprising as half the world is glued to them every waking minute – it’s important for dear old newspapers to get in on the act.

But some newspapers, anyway, have been quite enterprising in adapting their online product for such devices and now a group of British ones have come together to launch PATs, which stands for Publisher Advertising Transaction System. PATS will also be supported by the three big agency media operations: WPP’s GroupM, Omnicom Media and Publicis Groupe’s Vivaki.

UnknownSo why PATS and what does it do? Here’s Rufus Olins (left), CEO of Newsworks, the marketing body for UK newspapers.

“There is a real appetite for a system that improves efficiencies for publishers and agencies and we are delighted that three of the biggest agency groups are already working with us,” says Olins. “You could say this platform is overdue but arriving as it does now, it will offer access to total audiences, across all platforms, and make life much simpler. It is good to see the newspaper industry collaborating on this important issue.”

Tom George, chairman of UK agency trade body the IPA’s Media Futures Group and WPP’s MEC, says: “An electronic transaction system between agencies and publishers makes eminent sense. In the modern media landscape, time is at a premium and the PATS system has the potential to streamline important but labour intensive processes.”

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So yet more automation then. But I suppose the fact that there are many thousands of such ads – few of which, individually, are worth very much – means it’s too expensive to have people grappling with them.

How long will it be before media planners and buyers are replaced by robots?

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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