Karnstedt, industry react to changes at Yahoo

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Since Yahoo Inc. announced on June 24 that it was combining its search and display advertising sales teams, many in the industry have indicated they approve of the change.

David Karnstedt, whose previous position at Yahoo was senior vice president of search sales business, is now head of US sales.

"The online advertising marketplace is evolving rapidly and customers are looking for a more unified and thoughtful approach to their marketing plans," Mr. Karnstedt said. "We believe that a sales approach that leverages the full breadth of our advertising offerings will directly benefit our clients and position Yahoo more competitively in the market."

Mr. Karnstedt said combining the two divisions is a positive move for Yahoo.

"Rather than have one team focused on selling search and another one focused on selling display, Yahoo's integrated team will provide customers with 'holistic' recommendations on the optimal mix of search and display advertising supported by a full spectrum of ad products," Mr. Karnstedt said. "By organizing these assets around marketers and their needs, we anticipate that this change will accelerate our competitive advantage in the market and the business for longer-term success."

From a marketer's standpoint, this was a welcome change and long overdue, according to John Ragals, chief operating officer of 360i.

"The previous structure created some challenges to the integration of search and display, which should be a major advantage for Yahoo since they have a more expansive display network than Google," he said. "We expect that this will accelerate the movement of non-premium portions of Yahoo display inventory under the Panama auction system."

Yahoo's Mr. Karnstedt also thinks the change bodes well for marketers.

"Marketers are looking for innovative ways to reach their target audiences as well as for the greatest return on their marketing dollars - a combined search and display offering helps them do both - and Yahoo is uniquely positioned to deliver that value," Mr. Karnstedt said.

Mr. Ragals pointed to other recent changes at Yahoo as a way the company is broadening its marketing services for the industry.

"Their recent acquisition of Right Media portends to the opportunities for Yahoo to move rapidly to a complex auction system that provides advertisers and publishers with greater media efficiencies but requires special skills to sell, buy and manage," said Mr. Ragals.

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