Bid to boost ad sales with online auctions

British regional newspaper groups have imported a novel idea from the US to sell more advertising – online auctions.

The
new idea has been introduced by Canada-based firm CityXpress, which has
just opened offices in London. It provides the technology for
newspapers to host an online auction service for advertisers.

The online auction system works by an advertiser providing items for a newspaper to auction on its website.

The items typically sell for around 75 per cent of their retail price and that money is then spent on adverts in the newspaper.

According
to CityXpress, the benefits for advertisers include pre-publicity of
the auction in the paper itself; the interest of the auction online,
which typically lasts ten days; and the advert which they pay for from
the auction proceeds.

Managing director Peter de Souza told Press Gazette that the auction programmes themselves have also proved a draw for readers.

CityXpress has organised online auctions for the Barclay Brothers’

Edinburgh titles and for Northcliffe, Newsquest and Trinity Mirror.

At the Hull Daily Mail an auction spin-off section has been launched on the website www.thisishull.co.uk.

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