ITV appoints Kent to key online role

LONDON - ITV has appointed an online sales chief to boost revenues from ITV.com and the £120m Friends Reunited website.

Vanessa Kent, UK country manager for online marketing specialist ValueClick's sales house vcmedia, has joined the broadcaster in the new position of controller of online sales, reporting to brand partnerships director Gary Knight.

Kent will oversee a 15-strong online team and work with the interactive sales operation on developing cross-media advertising opportunities on broadband and mobile.

Knight said: "With the purchase of Friends Reunited, ITV is now a major player in the online world and we are in an unrivalled position to influence the market with our online content portfolio. Vanessa's background reinforces the expertise and experience that we now have on the team."

Kent became corporate development director of ValueClick Europe in 2004, before taking over vcmedia. She was previously director of account management for EMEA at DoubleClick, where she managed a team of account managers across Europe. She has also worked at Excite and in television sales in Australia.

Her new role will see Kent look to bring in ad deals across properties including Friends Reunited and its spin-offs Genes Reunited, Dating, Jobs and Connections. Colin Ramsay remains at ITV as head of online sales.

She said: "I'm excited to be joining ITV at a time when greater investment is being made into its online offering with a now unrivalled product portfolio for advertisers. I'm looking forward to establishing ITV as a serious contender in the online world."

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