Magazine article Marketing

The Huffington Post

Magazine article Marketing

The Huffington Post

Article excerpt

After an underwhelming first year in the UK, the site has readied a fresh campaign.

The Huffington Post, the phenomenally successful news and current affairs site, which was launched in the US in 2005, has won plaudits there for its pioneering approach to news and blogging. On this side of the pond, it has fared less well, however.

The AOL-owned site unveiled a UK version last summer, its first operation outside North America. Its presence was initially promoted with an outdoor and Twitter campaign encouraging people to 'blog all about it'.

However, it seems that what worked in the US has not in the UK, prompting the brand to change tack to attract users.

Earlier this month, The Huffington Post UK unveiled details of its latest campaign, which is scheduled to break in the coming months. It will promote original editorial content, and be based on the site's 'Conversations start here' positioning.

Noel Penzer, managing director UK and vice-president, international at The Huffington Post Media Group, has said the objectives include presenting the site beyond the 'digital-savvy'. AOL also recently appointed agency Gravity Road to handle advertising and content strategy for the brand.

How would the UK site best evolve? We asked Daryl Fielding, vice-president of marketing at Kraft and former commercial director at The Independent and The Independent on Sunday, and Marc Sands, media director at Tate and a former marketing director at Guardian News & Media.


Dollars 315m - amount AOL acquired The Huffington Post for in February 2011

2.04m - unique UK visitors in April

59.4m - unique Huffington Post Media Group (HPMG) news visitors in April

Source: comScore.


Two industry experts on how The Huffington Post can click with UK users

DARYL FIELDING, VICE-PRESIDENT OF MARKETING, KRAFT (former commercial director, The Independent)

The Huffington Post faces many more challenges than it did in the US, and building the brand here will be hard; it is a late entrant in a super-tough market. To top that, any digital news provider is competing with the superbly well-funded and hugely respected state product, the BBC.

Furthermore, there is no cultural connection to Arianna Huffington, the president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group. Therefore, the site needs to work hard to build a highly relevant and well-differentiated positioning.

The Huffington Post management may be too assumptive about the status of the brand. Judging by last year's 'Blog all about it', it needs to go back to launch basics: what it is and what it's for. …

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