News UK, the owner of The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun newspapers has today (March 18) launched independent full-service influence marketing agency, The Fifth, as it looks to expand its traditional advertising model and explore new revenue streams.

The agency, which comprises eight staff members within the commercial department of News UK’s London Bridge office, will work with emerging influencer talent and established mainstream voices across media channels. It will also offer talent identification and management, storytelling strategy, creative production, cross-media amplification and events for brands and talent.

News UK’s director of digital strategy and partnerships, Oliver Lewis, will take the lead as managing director of the newly launched agency, which was announced earlier this morning at Advertising Week Europe.

To carry out its mission, News UK has confirmed an exclusive partnership with independent intelligence platform CORQ, which uses technology as well as ten talent spotters with journalistic backgrounds to source the right talent available.

“Nine faces of influence”

Breaking the traditional mould of macro and micro influencer, The Fifth will categorise influencer talent through the so-called “nine faces of influence”, each designed to define the tone and format of each influencer as opposed to their audience scale. 

According to Digiday, the entry point for a single influencer campaign through the agency is £50,000, increasing to £200,000 for more complex integrated plans. Meanwhile, News UK has additional plans to leverage its media portfolio via the agency.

“Influencer marketing is one of the most exciting and fast-growing areas in brand communication. But the space is still in its infancy and with any industry in rapid growth, challenges persist. Brands require more support identifying the right talent, building longer-term partnerships, authenticating their background, proving meaningful ROI and delivering authentic and diverse stories,” said Lewis.

“The Fifth helps brands elevate influencer marketing into multi-channel campaigns. We believe in a human-first approach to talent identification. We immerse ourselves in cultural trends and we build connections with the tribes defining them to help brands join the conversation at the right time and in the most genuine way,” he continued.

“As an established, trusted media owner, we believe that we have a responsibility to offer our brand partners transparent and effective solutions across all areas of the marketing mix,” commented Dominic Carter, group chief commercial officer at News UK; “The Fifth is an exciting extension to our portfolio: it complements our existing offer and diversifies our service offering to answer the needs of our brand partners. It’s a great example of how we are future-proofing our business.”

The Fifth is a category sponsor at this year’s Influencer Marketing Awards. Find out more on Talking Influence.