AP launches native advertising division ContentWorks

The news agency has rebranded AP Content Services as AP ContentWorks to reflect its broader set of capabilities.

The 44th Annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, courtesy of AP
The 44th Annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, courtesy of AP

NEW YORK: The Associated Press has launched AP ContentWorks, a division for developing and distributing content for brands and agencies.

AP ContentWorks is the latest expansion of the global news network’s content marketing efforts. It evolved from AP Content Services and AP Assignments, according to Paul Caluori, AP’s global director of digital services.

AP Assignments produced video and photography content — raw material for brands’ marketing efforts. Then last year, the AP launched Content Services to create and distribute content onto its members’ sites, offering a "more complete service," Caluori said.

Now, the AP has rebranded AP Content Services to AP ContentWorks.

 "More recently, we’ve had the opportunity to be a little more strategic and get more upstream with the way brands talk about what kinds of stories they want to tell and what message they want to get across," Caluori said. "[Our content] functions like a story [in that the] reader wants to read it, regardless of it being advertising."

Caluori added that the AP’s new shop gives membership publications native advertising opportunities.

Having worked at AP for 18 years, one of Caluori’s priorities has been selling newspaper print ads. Now, he oversees AP Mobile, among other services, to help the news agency "navigate the digital age" and find new ways to advertise to bolster its revenue, he said.

The service will deliver branded content across the AP’s membership — around 1,400 newspapers and thousands of TV and radio broadcasters — in the form of native advertising.

Highlighted by FTC guidelines issued last year, Calouri emphasized that the content produced by ContentWorks is transparent and that the traditional firewall between the newsroom and business remains intact. ContentWorks is largely staffed by freelancers who work under creative content manager Adam Clement.

"We never want a reader to feel tricked by something we do," Caluori said. "That line has been blurred in some quarters, but we don’t want it to. We want to ensure AP’s high standards remain. The AP is not going to do a lot of kitten videos."

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