News UK, Telegraph Media Group and Guardian News & Media announced the launch of The Ozone Project as a new joint advertising platform at Cannes Lions.
The three publishers want to make it easier for advertisers and agencies to buy digital inventory and access audience data across The Sun, The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian from one sales point for the first time.
They hope The Ozone Project can offer a “premium” scale alternative to Google and Facebook.
The publishers added they wanted to recruit a outsider, rather than a newspaper insider, after two years of on-off talks about pooling their ad sales.
The Ozone Project will invest in what Reeve calls its own “foundational” technology layer, which means the publishers can control how advertising appears on their sites, rather than letting ad tech buyers put tags and other code wherever they like.
“The code on page that is currently provided by tech vendors who are also demand partners presents a conflict of interest,” Reeve said.
“It is important for publishers to recognise that there’s a point where they should be taking more responsibility than they have been for any code that’s on page.”
The Ozone Project is due to launch in the autumn.