VNU spins off European net arm

VNU Business Publishing is hiving off its internet operations into a single pan-European unit in the hope of swelling web ad revenues across the continent.

VNU Business Publishing is hiving off its internet operations into

a single pan-European unit in the hope of swelling web ad revenues

across the continent.



Ruud Bakker, chairman of VNU Business Publishing Europe, will head the

division but remains in charge of the Dutch publisher’s print

business.



Bakker has appointed managing directors to take charge of dedicated

online editorial and sales teams in six European counties who will now

report to him. John Barnes is the UK internet managing director.



Bakker is also planning to set up a dedicated web sales team within

Global Media, VNU’s international sales house. Global Media, which sells

its magazines overseas, will sell VNU’s websites - IT portal VNUNet.com

and the classified ad site IT Jobworld - across Europe, and construct

European web sales packages for US clients. The publisher already has

sales representatives for its websites in the US.



According to Bakker, the number of online staff has grown from 75 to 180

within the last six months and ad revenues have tripled year on

year.



However, he is still on the look-out for good sales staff at all

levels.



The creation of a separate brand - called VNU Business Online - will

allow the company to pull in more corporate advertising from IT giants

like IBM for VNUNet.com, along with more international job ads for IT

Jobworld. ’There is an increasing number of IT and technology companies

that are operating internationally and need to find people,’ explained

Bakker.



In the UK and five other European counties, VNU’s net sales are split

between IT Jobworld and VNUNet.com. Barry Cronin is head of sales for

VNUNet.com, while Sean Paterson heads up IT Jobworld.



Barnes commented on the creation of VNU Business Online Europe: ’By

creating a separate brand we are recognising the importance of the

internet. Shareholders can see that we are not burying it among our

print business. The web operation has grown dramatically and we want to

ensure it carries on doing so.’



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