Car ads on Taylor Swift articles? Ozone Project hires ADmantX to kill bad keywords

Ad tech claims to read web pages 'like humans' in order to vastly improve contextual targeting.

Taylor Swift: software that scans articles for keywords can get them wrong without context
Taylor Swift: software that scans articles for keywords can get them wrong without context

Joint newsbrand ad sales venture The Ozone Project is hoping to boost its ability to target online readers against premium content after hiring ad tech company ADmantX.

The joint venture from News UK, Guardian News & Media, The Telegraph and Reach has tasked ADmantX with developing a precise understanding of its content at the level of each page.

This means that ADmantX, which provides data on natural language processing (NLP), should be able to analyse at scale content across theguardian.com and telegraph.co.uk, even though they are different publishers with different content structures. 

ADmantX's NLP tech is meant to read content in the same way a human does and detect subtle changes in context that may change the meaning of words on a page. This would allow The Ozone Project to categorise its inventory with a greater degree of accuracy, thus allowing advertisers to more effectively target consumers based on the content they are reading rather than the data that is held about them.

For example, for a Guardian article about singer Taylor Swift’s new album, the tech enables advertisers to target around "music", "pop culture" and "Taylor Swift". Other providers that that are unable to decipher language context would have delivered keywords such as "fine art" (because the piece uses the word "artists") and "automotive" (because the song Getaway Car is referenced).

The move comes three months after Google announced it would allow users of its Chrome browser to block third-party cookies, the small files that collect and hold information about webpage visitors (often including information that is used to serve targeted advertising).

Earlier this year Ozone chief executive Damon Reeve explained how the company is trying to improve its data analysis and has committed to removing third-party trackers off website pages by the end of this year.

Ozone awarded ADmantX the business after a competitive pitch in which its NLP tech was found to be 42% more accurate than the next best providers.

Danny Spears, commercial director of The Ozone Project, said: "Today advertisers face increasing pressure to compete for consumer attention. At The Ozone Project we understand the importance of harnessing the power of first-party audience data to help advertisers build effective, targeted digital campaigns that deliver incredible ROI."