Ben Hughes, the new advertisement sales director of the Financial Times,
has restructured the ad department in a bid to introduce a more
aggressive sales strategy.
Hughes, who replaced Tony Blin-Stoyle last month (Campaign, 27 October),
has merged the agency and client sales groups and created a special
sales unit to chase new business.
Corporate advertisers are the main target of the push, which will be
marked in January by a series of in-paper ads through Delaney Fletcher
Bozell and 20/20 Media.
The changes come after a period in which the FT’s core sector of
financial advertisers has been struggling to emerge from the recession.
The paper also suffered a blow to its reputation earlier this year, when
the biennial British Business Survey suggested that the number of top
decision-makers reading the FT had fallen.
Hughes, who was previously the FT’s sales and marketing director for
Continental Europe, dismissed the survey as flawed, but said: ‘We are
operating in extremely competitive conditions. We have to win business
for the FT.’
The paper, which usually adheres to its ratecard, will offer new
opportunities for deals for long-term bookings, Hughes said. But he
stressed that the FT’s ratecard would remain ‘very firm’.
The newly merged department will be headed by Stephen Dunbar-Johnson,
vice-president for FT Publications in the US, who will return to the UK
as display advertisement sales director.
Headliner, page 20