Microsoft Expanding Ad Sales Staff for MSN.com

Microsoft reportedly is expanding its advertising sales force as part of a plan to make its MSN.com Web site one of the top portals on the Internet.

Marty Taucher, director of MSN marketing communications, told reporters that the company’s business model calls for the Web site to generate 60 to 70 percent of its revenues through advertising, according to a Reuters report.

In the past, Microsoft has relied heavily on partnership arrangements for much of its advertising sales, but over the past several months the company has doubled the size of its advertising sales force to 50, Taucher said. By the end of next year the force is expected to grow to 200 sales representatives, he said.

Taucher also said the company is in the midst of an $18.5 million advertising campaign to promote the repositioned MSN.com site. The campaign, which opened Feb. 8, runs through June in print, radio, online and outdoor.

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