Partnering Seven on cars, News is back to battle Cox

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Two years after it sold its half-share in Carsguide, NewsCorp Australia has announced plans to "innovate and disrupt" auto advertising in a new partnership with Seven West Media.

A new 'Navigate Auto' platform was announced at Seven's Allfronts sales initiative this week.

For News, the partnership comes after two years of restructuring its pitch to the retail car industry. It had sold the sometimes troublesome Carsguide business to partner Cox Automotive after Cox's US-based media and marketing conglomerate parent - built on the back of a Dayton, Ohio, daily newspaper - merged it with its Dealer Solutions, Manheim and Sell My Car businesses. The deal is also a further 'cosying up' between News and Seven since Nine and Fairfax announced a merger.

At Allfronts, SWM chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette promised the fully integrated bespoke offering "will change the game".

Navigate Auto promises a "one-stop media package" combining resources which include Seven's and News' research and data, and a single dedicated point of contact. They claim a national reach of 6.1 million "auto-intenders", 95 per cent of those in metro markets.

News had been expected to return to the market with a tailored product after it unloaded Carsguide. Although headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, parent company Cox Enterprises is a quarter owned by the founder's granddaughter Blair Parry-Okeden, who lives in Scone, NSW, and was named by Forbes in 2016 as Australia's richest person.

Pictured: Car fan and SWM chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette is understood to have a taste for British marque Aston Martin

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