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April 26, 2024

Total Politics Group to run ad sales for Conservative Home and Labour List

The sites' ad inventories will be handled by Total Politics Group from July.

By Bron Maher

Messagespace, the political advertising network co-founded by Guido Fawkes editor Paul Staines, will no longer run ad sales for politics titles Conservative Home and Labour List.

From July, advertising on the two sites will be handled by Total Politics Group, the Lord Ashcroft-owned company that publishes titles including The House, Politics Home and Conservative Home itself.

Total Politics said the deal “advances Total Politics Group’s position as the largest, most diverse and best-connected political advertising platform in the UK”.

Ad network sales no longer ‘really fit naturally with our company anymore’

Messagespace was co-founded in 2006 by Staines and Labourhome bloggers Alex Hilton and Jag Singh. Staines told Press Gazette in 2021 that Hilton is no longer involved in the business and Singh is a “silent investor”.

Besides Labour List and Conservative Home, Messagespace says it works with sites including The Spectator, Unherd, UK Polling Report and Guido Fawkes itself. Staines told Press Gazette in 2021 that Guido Fawkes’ annual turnover was in the “middling six figures”, much of it driven by Messagespace advertising.

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Messagespace’s 2023 rate card offered advertisers billboard ads on Conservative Home of £30 per thousand impressions, £25 on Labour List and £20 on Guido Fawkes.

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The company’s director Sam Cooper told Press Gazette on Wednesday that over the past year the company had begun to “reframe” its business model away from providing a network of inventory for political advertisers and toward planning media campaigns for clients seeking to target relevant political stakeholders.

“We’re no longer just focusing on political blog sites,” he said. “We take clients anywhere they want to go, whether that’s social media, national press, key magazines… out of home banners, tube stations. We just basically decided to expand our horizons of what we can offer our clients.

“Handling the day-to-day nuts and bolts of how the advertising works on the key sites doesn’t really fit naturally with our company anymore.”

Cooper said Labour List and Conservative Home’s ad sales were “a better fit” under the Total Politics Group.

“That’s not to say that we won’t be handling buyers on those sites anymore, because we almost certainly will be. It’s just that the owning and operation of those titles is moving away from Messagespace and into Total Politics.”

Total Politics Group chief executive Mark Wallace said in a statement that the deal to handle Labour List and Conservative Home’s ads “offers public affairs and other advertisers an unrivalled one-stop shop to engage with the most influential political audiences, alongside top-flight, expert journalism…

“This cements Total Politics as the ideal partner to engage with all sides of the political conversation. For the media titles we represent, that means more investment and the opportunity to provide yet more insightful coverage to their audiences.”

A spokesperson for Labour List said that the brand’s “commercial arrangements are a matter for the independent Labour List board which has decided to begin a new partnership with the Total Politics Group for the sale of its advertising inventory.

“Labour List wishes to thank Messagespace for the service it has given since 2010.”

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Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
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