French publishers are joining forces to take on Google and Facebook

The existential threat of Google and Facebook are causing competitors to ally in France. Major French national newspaper and magazine groups are setting aside traditional rivalries to scale their digital advertising offers to rival the duopoly, while also ridding their digital ad supply chains of unnecessary intermediaries.

Le Monde and Le Figaro, traditionally fierce newspaper rivals, are letting advertisers book digital ad campaigns across their combined portfolio, using the same display or video ad formats for the first time. At the same time, Lagardère, Prisma Media, Condé Nast, Le Parisien and broadcaster M6 are pooling audience data in an initiative involving around 15 publishers.

Both Le Monde and Le Figaro have stressed that combining forces in this way is a necessary step if they’re to compete with the likes of Facebook and Google for advertising spend. Their alliance, called “Skyline,” is an intentional show of strength to the advertising market. Together, these media groups generated 35 million unique users in May, according to Médiamétrie.

From September, advertisers will have the option to run campaigns across all the sites of the 20 media brands they have between them, which include HuffPost.fr, a media partner of Le Monde’s in France. In France, that puts them behind Google, which has 44 million visitors, Facebook (40 million) and Microsoft (36 million).

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