INside Performance Marketing
PMI Starts Today – Join Us There's still time to make it down to the Westminster Park Plaza Buy your ticket now
‘Visually Assaulting’ and Overbearing Ads - A Thing of the Past for Flagship Mag
Image Credit  jonycunha Creative Commons license

‘Visually Assaulting’ and Overbearing Ads - A Thing of the Past for Flagship Mag

In its quest to ensure that brand ads are non-intrusive and less irksome, a global publisher of magazines and associated websites has adopted a new ad format.

Progressive Media International has announced that its flagship title, New Statesman, is implementing a new non-interruptive and in-content alternative to standard ad formats across its website,

Native advertising platform Respond, which enables digital publishers to generate new revenue, without compromising user experience, is behind the new offering. The ads are fully customisable, allowing Progressive Media International’s own team to modify the ads to adapt to the core design elements of, including the images, typeface, colour, size and line spacing.

By displaying in a style that is consistent with the form and function of, Respond said consumers are drawn into the ads which sit seamlessly within targeted editorial content that the user is focused upon.

Interruptive Ads & Achieving Impact

From the units, Progressive Media International, which also owns the Press Gazette, can enable advertisers to launch immersive full screen overlays of their choice - whether that be a web page, a product microsite, an online video, a game or a form to capture consumer data. The ads are entirely user-initiated, drawing consumers in to engage with the format willingly, rather than 'visually assaulting them with interruptive ads'.

Commercial digital director of Progressive Media International, Brad Chuck, said at times, ad formats and creative supplied by ad networks conflict with the design of publishers’ sites, so brands’ ads look and feel intrusive and dissonant.

“As Progressive Media International’s ad operations department can easily modify Respond’s ad units to create tailored yet native ad placements, which follow the form and function of’s design, the ad units attract consumers into engaging with brands rather than pushing advertising into consumers’ faces,” Chuck said.

“This means brands can achieve impact without being overbearing.”

Respond’s ad platform is based on semantic analysis, using proprietary algorithms to process the language content of web pages and then associating relevant adverts to the editorial.

Controls Spot Inconsistencies

In-built sensitivity controls then suppress ads from displaying within certain types of content which would make the ad placements look incongruous or inappropriate.

Co-founder and chief marketing officer at Respond, Guy Cookson said it is vital that ad formats do not interfere with the reputation of the publication – not least because its content and audience is so valuable to advertisers.

“It makes so much sense for brands to develop a direct relationship with premium publishers like, which attract consumers in a particular mind set when they’re engaging with unique quality content,” Cookson said.

“The customisable quality of Respond ads means Progressive Media International can provide unique ad formats which correspond with the brand, add value to direct relationships with advertisers, and provide a straightforward means of differentiation in a sector dominated by standard ad formats.”  


Pippa Chambers

Pippa Chambers

Freelance News Journalist at PerformanceIN - working to source the latest and breaking news in performance marketing. 

From newspapers to national B2B magazines and technology reporting, I have covered a variety of genres. NCTJ/NCE qualified.

Please email me at and follow me @PippaC1

Read more from Pippa

Join over 10,000 performance marketers for the ultimate weekly update on industry news