The Guardian’s New Media Lab is set to unveil a weekly lifestyle
magazine on the Internet, which will be sponsored by Whitbread.
The magazine, Shift Control, will be published each Friday from 4
October and will comprise entirely original material commissioned
especially for the Net.
It will include a daily satirical animation, By-Products, a creative
writing area, Write out of Control, and a weekly essay followed by an
The sponsorship deal with Whitbread, which is working on the project
with its media agency, Motive, will seek to integrate advertising with
editorial using individual Whitbread brands to support different
sections of the magazine. The site will shun traditional online
advertising, such as banner ads.
Robin Hunt, the head of the New Media Lab, said: ‘We are making the ads
in-house at the Lab. We see ads very much as part of the content and if
you have bad advertising on the site it brings down the whole product.
There is a lot of bad advertising on the Web and we have worked hard to
get around that.’
John Derkach, marketing director at Whitbread Beer, said he was
attracted by the chance to be involved in a site that was not dedicated
to advertising its brands. He commented: ‘Instead we opted to create
something that would be more engaging and intelligent in its approach
and we feel we achieved that with this sponsorship.’