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