An advertising system aimed at niche and specialist websites is setting its sights on UK publishing deals following domestic success in Poland.

AdTaily is part owned by publisher Agora and is used by the Polish media group across 80 per cent of its portfolio of websites sites, including its national newspaper websites and lifestyle properties.

The company has now expanded to a UK office and is targeting publishers in the UK with ambitions to expand globally from this base. Talks are already underway with one Scottish publisher and it is hoped that larger web publishing groups will follow later this month, Marcin Grodzicki, business development manager for AdTaily, told Journalism.co.uk.

The technology allows advertisers to create rich media ads within a site or upload existing banners or graphics via a widget. Clients can set the dates for the ad campaign, which will then await approval from the website publisher. The company takes no commission for ads place directly on websites by advertisers and takes 30 per cent if spots are filled through its own network of clients.

"Lots of advertisers using it haven't advertised online before - being able to let them set up an ad in the place it will appear is important to them. Basic advertisers understand per day rates. It's taking the magazine and newspaper classified ad system to the web," said Grodzicki.

The technology has been used by Agora to serve adds on verticals within larger news sites, on forums and around user-generated content, on newly-launched websites and as part of hyperlocal news sites. Since launching in Poland in 2009 the "self-service advertising solution" has more than 13,000 registered publishers and its ads attract an average of 1 billion page views a month.

"With new websites you don't know what type of traffic it is yet, which makes it harder to sell ad space to larger companies. Implementing our system means you can start monetising this content from day one. User-generated content can also be hard to monetise with large advertisers because the content is not editorial and quite often the advertisers are afraid of what their ads will be next to. A smaller advertiser might be happier to advertise around a sub-section of a forum; it may offer less traffic but it's a viable revenue stream," said Grodzicki.

As well as large as large organisations using it on niche sites, the system has been implemented by smaller, independent websites and bloggers who may not have the sales staff or resources to devote to advertising on these sites, explained Grodzicki.

"The traditional direct sales model is quite expensive and you’re not able to sell ads at £100 to a local shop because it would cost you more to process the sale itself than the revenue you would actually get from it," he said.

"Whenever you have a group of readers they form a community. Some of those will be returning readers coming to your site, maybe every day, maybe even a couple of times a day. Part of this audience will be people who want to advertise with your site, because they know who comes to it, they are engaging with each other in the comments and on forums etc the other members of the community are more interested in ads like that because they are actually more tailored to their interests because the advertisers are also readers of that site."

As with other advertising technologies forging new ground in the UK, such as the Addiply system currently being trialled by the Guardian's local websites, Grodzicki hopes AdTaily can provide an alternative to Google's AdSense. More businesses are coming online to advertise for the first time and Google's system is often too complicated for them; while publishers want a more direct and personal relationship with their advertisers, said Grodzicki.

"It's complicated for the advertiser and not viable for the publisher. As much as Adsense changed the online world it's not currently meeting the needs of both sides," he said.

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