Reach launches digital tech platform Neptune and in-house Ad Tech Workshop in Ireland

Reach have announced the launch of its newly named digital tech platform Neptune, bringing together Reach’s existing first party data platform with its growing slate of data matching capabilities and custom-built AI contextual tools.

As part of the latest push to boost ad tech capability, Reach also announced the creation of a dedicated in-house Ad Tech Workshop, unique in the publishing space in that the team will sit in the Commercial division and focus entirely on commercial product development – both for in-house use, and to license to other publishers.

Reporting into Reach Group Digital Director Terry Hornsby, the Ad Tech Workshop will be made up of developers, testers and Product Managers, and will expand to enhance and grow Reach’s innovation of digital products and publishing tools.

The move is the latest in a series of early ad tech successes for Reach, beginning in late 2019 with Mantis – an AI-powered brand safety and contextual tool spearheaded by Terry and developed in partnership with IBM Watson. Terry later established a small team to develop Reach’s Plus products that offer a unique approach to customer matching, and developed Ocean, Reach’s first party data platform.

Both Neptune and the Ad Tech Workshop come as part of Reach’s wider Customer Value Strategy announced in 2020, which has fast-tracked the company’s efforts in bolstering their data and technical capabilities, with a target of reaching 10 million registered customers by the end of 2022.

Terry Hornsby, Reach Group Digital Director, commented:

“At Reach, we were among the first in developing our own digital tools to solve problems facing both advertisers and publishers.

“Being ahead of the curve on first party data has given us a great opportunity to continue to experiment and innovate.

“This latest investment in our in-house workshop and the Neptune platform underpins our approach – trying new things, finding new opportunities for growth, and taking our destiny into our own hands. When we need a tech solution, we roll up our sleeves and create it.”

Jonathan Eakin, Commercial Director of Reach Solutions Ireland, added:

“Reach’s unique position in Ireland as a publisher of this scale gives us a fantastic window into consumer behaviour and interests, together with the ability to apply this knowledge in real terms to the products we develop.

“Continuing to boost our ad tech capabilities will set us in great stead as we look to the future and enhances our reputation as the most innovative publisher in the market.”

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For queries please contact Communications Executive, Aimee Rourke –

Notes to editors:

About Mantis

Mantis is a brand safety and contextual product created by Reach. Mantis uses IBM Watson (AI) to read a page and identify the topics it contains, and the tone it is written in.  Because Mantis reads and understands the content, it is able to holistically identify content  that is unsuitable for advertising, rather than relying on keywords which tend to lead to over blocking. In practice, Mantis can distinguish between a ‘knife attack’ and an ‘attack on goal’  or ‘nude photos’ and ‘nude lipstick.’

About Reach plc

Reach plc is the largest commercial national and regional news publisher in the UK and Ireland with a growing portfolio in Ireland. We create engaging, differentiated content which is distributed through newspapers, magazines and digital platforms – playing a central role in our audiences’ daily lives.

Our national and regional brands have a long heritage of being trusted sources of the latest news, information, sport and entertainment, offering a range of opportunities to connect brands with consumers.  With one of the biggest monthly multi-platform audiences in the UK, Reach’s national and regional news brands are prominent champions, campaigners and changemakers.

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