MySpace has named ad industry veteran Wenda Harris Millard, of media rep firm Media Link, to oversee its advertising sales, ClickZ has confirmed. Under the arrangement she’ll remain with Media Link but be the day-to-day point person for MySpace’s sales organization. BoomTown first reported the news.
Media Link, where Millard is president, is a media representation and strategic advisory firm. With offices in L.A. and New York, it provides advertising, entertainment, and tech industry clients with strategic counsel. Clients have included Microsoft, AT&T, Home Depot, and Walt Disney, among others.
Prior to joining Media Link, she was co-CEO at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and before that head of sales at Yahoo. She also served stints at DoubleClick and ZDNet.
In recent years Millard has become something of an advocate for the branding effectiveness of online advertising and an opponent of the trend toward data-driven optimization. At this year’s IAB annual meeting, she said the time has come for data to take a back seat to the big idea.
“While for years the business seemed to err on the side of art, now I think it errs on the side of science and math,” said Millard. She also made waves at last year’s IAB meeting with her insistence that online media companies must “not trade our assets like pork bellies.”
MySpace has begun working with Millard and Media Link effective immediately. Internally the move has been characterized as a clear message to Madison Avenue that the company has made significant strides and is serious about partnering with advertisers.
With the hire of Media Link, existing head of sales Jeff Berman is on the way out, According to an internal memo penned by MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta and published by MediaMemo. Berman oversaw all online ad solutions and branded ad sales for the company.
“I appreciate all the support that Jeff has given the new management team and look forward to welcoming new sales talent to compliment the tremendous group we currently have in place,” Van Natta wrote.
The move comes just a day after MySpace announced the acquisition of iLike, a music recommendation engine, for a reported $20 million.
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