Common Questions

What is Specle?

Specle is an ad-delivery company. This means that we check ads against media owner specifications to ensure they print as expected and deliver them to media owners via their preferred supply channels.

Preflighting is important because some media owners require bleed, crop marks, or even slug areas in order to trim your ads satisfactorily. Furthermore, the ad that you see on a computer monitor can look very different from the printed product. This is due to whether or not your monitor is colour calibrated, as well as the paper the publication will print on. It is always a good idea to preflight ads in order to avoid issues with formats, cropping, colours, vectors and more.

With Specle you can check and deliver ads to national and international media owners from one platform.

Why is there a charge to use Specle?

Some media owners insist that ads come through ad-delivery providers, and this means advertisers have to use a third-party company. Specle ensures that every ad you deliver passes the technical requirements. Without a third-party system, media owners would need to employ a team of people to check incoming ads, and this cost would be reflected in the advertising cost.

Specle is an independent software company. We have a close relationship with media owners, but in most cases we are not funded by them.

Why can't media owners cover ad delivery costs?

In some cases media owners pay for ad delivery, but the large newspaper media owners work to maintain healthy competition amongst ad delivery vendors. As each newspaper group forms such a large proportion of the total market, choosing a single vendor and paying them directly would adversely affect the other vendors and create a monopoly. This would stifle innovation and increase prices.

Can the Specle charge be added to my advertising invoice?

It is impossible for the media owners to add the Specle charge to advertising invoices, as the choice of ad delivery vendor is up to the creative agency or advertiser. The media owner does not know which vendor will be used at the point of purchase.

Do media owners receive commission from Specle?

Specle does not provide any commission, rebate, or kickback to media owners. Specle operates on its own merits, and attempts to provide the best possible service so that media owners, agencies, and advertisers choose to use us.

How does using Specle benefit me?

We work to provide the best possible service for our customers. Specle employs a full-time development team to improve and expand our service, as well as a support team that offers advice and assistance throughout the production and delivery process.

Additionally, as Specle is a service designed for advertisers, customers can deliver to multiple media owners in one place rather than navigating between media owner platforms.

What payment methods do you offer?

PAYG customers pay at the point of delivery with a credit card. Bundle customers pay at the point of purchase and ad credits are added to their account.

If you are a Specle Colour customer you pay via Direct Debit, credit card, or manual billing on the 28th of each month, but note that for manual billing, there is a £5 admin charge per invoice.

To sign up to pay via direct debit, please click here.

How long do ad credits remain valid?

Bundle credits can be used for up to 12 months.

What are my options if there are errors on my ad?

If an ad fails the preflight check, customers can either call or email the Specle Support team for instructions, or click on 'Fix it for me' to have the ad amended by a Prepress Technician. The cost is £35+VAT, and is not inclusive of delivery.

For minor amendments that can be performed automatically, the charge is £5+VAT. When a customer clicks on 'Fix it for me', they will be notified whether a manual or an automatic amendment is required. They can then choose whether they want to proceed.

Are there any additional charges?

​Some publications require delivery through a third-party system or gatekeeper service which incurs an additional charge. This is the case for INM Group (Irish Independent & Belfast Telegraph), Australian publications, as well as The Express Group. It is rare, but there are other publications operating similar services. We do indicate on the spec page when an ad needs to be delivered using a third party service, but, due to the complexity and variation in pricing, the pricing for third party services is not shown at the point of delivery.

What if I require a hard-copy proof?

​To print and deliver a hard-copy proof, Specle charges £30+VAT per proof, and £20+VAT for delivery within the UK. International delivery prices vary.

To request a hard-copy proof, or for more information about international delivery, please contact support@specle.net.

What does it mean that some publications are classified as regional?

Some publications are classified as regional on Specle, and there is a reduced price to deliver to these publications. The main media owners include Trinity Mirror Regional, Localworld, Newsquest, and Archant.

The regional pricing is £2+VAT per delivery.

As a media owner, how can I set up my own ad portal?

Media owner specs can be added to our database for free.

To discuss further portal branding, please email sales@specle.net or call us on +44(0) 207 871 3555.

Why are some ads free to deliver?

Pricing may vary for delivery to media owners with their own ad portals. Occasionally, the media owner will cover the cost of delivery and corrections. This is the case for the following media owner portals:

Office Hours: 9.30am - 6.30pm

Emergency On Call: 6.30pm - 9.00pm


+44 (0) 207 871 3555