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BuzzFeed expands UK commercial team to meet brand demand

BuzzFeed has expanded its UK commercial team with the hire of executives from Facebook and The Telegraph as it looks to meet claimed increasing demand from advertisers to work with the social news site.

Buzzfeed site

Buzzfeed hires execs from Facebook and Telegraph to meet ‘growing demand’ from UK marketers.

Simon Low, most recently client partner at Facebook, and The Telegraph Media Group’s head of digital solutions Jonathan Davies have both joined Buzzfeed as sales directors.

They will be responsible for working with brands and agencies to drive BuzzFeed’s social advertising services and revenue across Europe. They will report into Will Hayward, Buzzfeed’s vice president of advertising for Europe.

The commercial team now has seven members of staff, but Hayward plans to increase headcount by one to two each month to meet growing demand from advertisers.

In its most recent announcement about its site stats, BuzzFeed said it reached more than 130 million unique users globally and 10 million UK users in November.

Since Hayward joined to become BuzzFeed’s first advertising executive outside of the US, the site has run a number of campaigns from brands including Windows, Coca-Cola, The Guardian and Sky. The site does not run banner ads and instead offers marketers options to place branded content on the site.

Hayward told Marketing Week BuzzFeed’s current challenge is scaling fast enough to meet demand as marketers increasingly look to content marketing and native advertising to reach consumers.

He added: “We think that banner advertising - producing billions of ads that nobody looks at, clicks on, or enjoys - will be abandoned in the immediate future.

“I think that pretty much every media house underestimates the amount of work they need to do to rebuild their ad offering. They have a long journey ahead of them and think the solution is hiring two or three people.

“We have 50 people globally who work on creating content for brands - content creation, not selling or optimising - and we are looking to build the best advertising team in the country to do the best social campaigns in the world.”

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