PointRoll Names New CEO

robgattoRobert Gatto, former SVP of sales, has taken the top job at PointRoll, Gannett Co.’s digital marketing solutions arm. Gatto replaces Jason Tafler as CEO.

According to PointRoll, Tafler stepped down to move closer to family in Canada. 

Gannett used PointRoll to build up its full-service digital capabilities. It found synergy between PointRoll and sister company ShopLocal, a searchable directory of local specials and sale items developed jointly by Gannett, Knight Ridder and Tribune Company.

Gatto (pictured) led sales and client services at ShopLocal before his move to PointRoll at the end of 2009.

“He’s a natural fit,” said Cat Spurway, VP of strategy and marketing, PointRoll. “He’s been instrumental in driving revenue growth, helping us take the capabilities from ShopLocal and adopt those within PointRoll in order to create key differentiation for the business.”

As an example, Spurway said that PointRoll allows retailers to distribute data from their advertising circulars to a wide variety of devices, including iPhones and iPads. The company is beta-testing distribution on non-Apple devices.

Eleven-year-old PointRoll won attention for its expanding ads that combined JavaScript and DHTML. The format allowed advertisers to cram much more information into an ad, but only when someone moused over it. The company kept up-to-date with changing technology, last year rolling out creative, ad serving, analytics, and reporting for iPad ads, with USA Today, another Gannett property, as a major advertiser for the new platform.

It also responded to the blurring of advertising and editorial with the introduction of Dig@torial, an ad unit that allows advertising content to live inside a banner directly adjacent to editorial content pulled from the publisher’s site.

In November, it relaunched Local.com as a site where consumers could find coupons, offers and information on local businesses.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated Jason Tafler was cofounder of PointRoll. He was not.

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