THE parent company of Gazette Newspapers, Newsquest, has appointed leading communications agency, the leepeckgroup, to help drive its online business.

Nationally, Newsquest consistently ranks in the top three of the UK's leading newspaper websites, and the latest figures show The Gazette portal registers 460,000 page impres-sions a month.

The aim of the website is to be an indispensable guide to all comm-unities seeking news, sport, enter-tainment content and much more, thereby providing high precision customer targeting for local busines-ses. “Our online offerings are a compelling route to market in their own right and have proved hugely successful,” said Stewart Dunn, managing director of Newsquest Hampshire, which also has in its stable The Southern Daily Echo, Andover Advertiser, Hampshire Chronicle and Salisbury Journal.

“There's never been a better time for companies to segment their market and use the digital initiative to pinpoint sales messages to their customers in the most relevant context and on a grand scale.

“This initiative is designed to ensure advertisers in the region fully understand the opportunity that online advertising has to offer.”

Following a competitive pitch, Newsquest has enlisted the support of communications agency leepeckgroup, which is ranked in the top five most efficient digital agencies in the Wire Hive industry ratings. LPG will be providing strategic consultancy to Newsquest together with a digital animation video for use online and as an aid for its sales teams.

Bernadette Walsh, publisher of the Basingstoke and Andover titles, said: “LPG have an impressive track record both creatively and online, and will give us the edge we are seeking. The video is currently in production and we are delighted with the progress so far.”

Lee Peck, from LPG, said: “News-papers and their companion websites are at the centre of the community and the core of the media world.

“As such they still set the news agenda, which everyone else follows. It’s an area I’m really passionate about, and as a professional journa-list, I am personally thrilled to be working alongside the Newsquest team to help them maximise their online opportunities for the benefit of businesses across the region.”