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February 5, 2006

Microsoft selects Bradford as ad sales czar

Posted by David Hunter at 8:17 PM ET.

Catching up with an older item, Zachary Rodgers at ClickZ reports Microsoft Integrates Global Media Sales Under Bradford:

Microsoft has promoted Joanne Bradford to corporate VP of global sales and trade marketing, and chief media revenue officer.

The position has oversight of all Microsoft’s media operations, including MSN, Windows Live, Xbox and the recently announced Web services platforms Office Live and Windows Live. Additionally, she’ll oversee the company’s monetization efforts in IPTV and mobile content.

Previously MSN’s chief media revenue officer, Bradford will work to integrate Microsoft’s global media sales force, which has tended to operate in isolated pockets. MSNBC in particular has been treated as its own world.

Before joining Microsoft, Bradford headed North American ad sales for Business Week. There isn’t yet a Microsoft biography page, but here’s an older one at iMedia Connection.

Kris Oser at AdAge:

The new division signals Microsoft’s seriousness in carrying out a strategy Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates announced last fall for the company to stake its future on Internet advertising.

“This is a significant push for us,” Ms. Bradford said. “We are committed to building one Microsoft sales force for Microsoft’s products.”

This sounds more or less like what one would expect if Microsoft is really taking ad-supported software seriously, but Mike Shields at Media Week sounds an off note:

Bradford’s promotion would seem to signal that Microsoft’s adCenter technology, which is said to offer advanced targeting and automation for a variety of Web based forms of advertising, will soon be adopted and managed across all Microsoft properties.

Theoretically, this would allow online ad buyers the means to purchase ads on multiple Microsoft properties through one central application.

In fact, according to Microsoft officials, in her new role, Bradford will be focused on bringing advertising to a more prominent position within Microsoft by developing new products and improving sales operations. She will also be working to globally integrate the company’s sales force.

That seems like “more of the same, only better organized” which while being good old traditional management-speak, isn’t likely to cut it in Internet ads.

Filed under Advertising, Coopetition, Executives, General Business, Google, Joanne Bradford, MSN, adCenter

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2 Responses to “Microsoft selects Bradford as ad sales czar”

  1. Microsoft finally shows us the “Live” money -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] I was just complaining the other day that what was missing so far in the “rolling thunder” of “Live” announcements has been the money. After all, it’s hard to do “ad-supported software” without the ads. Now it looks like Microsoft’s new worldwide ad czar, Joanne Bradford, has put together a pilot test of conventional display ads for some of the “Live” services. [...]

  2. Bradford to head MSN? -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] In today’s Wall Street Journal, Robert A. Guth provides a glowing profile of Joanne Bradford who was appointed as Microsoft’s Web ad czar in January and offers this teaser: In the latest signal that Microsoft has gotten the online-ad religion, a company official said yesterday that Ms. Bradford, 43 years old, will soon be named to head its MSN online group, which runs a Web site delivering news, video and services such as email and instant messaging. [...]

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