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BBC.com Welcomes Advertising

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NEW YORK BBC.com is now officially open to advertisers for the first time in the U.S.

Having received a green light for advertising on the site from the British Broadcasting Corp. at the end of last year, a multiplatform sales team has been formed.

While BBC America has existed for some 10 years, it's a significant move for the cable network -- and is in stark contrast to the BBC in the U.K., where license fees fund the BBC, so there is no need to support it through advertising. But channels like BBC America have been ad supported since inception. "This move presents fantastic opportunities for advertisers to reach a new audience," said a representative.

For the last 10 years, the ad sales team at Discovery Communications oversaw the business. The changeover, to an in-house multiplatform BBC North American ad sales operation, occurred on April 1.

The new ad sales team will sell across cable channels BBC America and BBC World News and the online component BBC.com.

"By having a sales team that connects directly with our clients, we can now execute on our strategy of building and investing in cable networks, digital and mobile markets," said Garth Ancier, president, BBC Worldwide America.

Mark Gall, svp, BBC America and BBC digital sales, manages the team. Key new hires include: Brian Matthews, vp, ad sales, East Coast, who joined from NBC Digital; Mark Richardson, vp, ad sales, Midwest, who left The Weather Channel; and Charles Douglass, vp, ad sales, West Coast, who was with CNN Networks. Eleven account executives were also hired.

The team will focus on working with U.S. national and international agencies and advertisers to create TV and digital ad campaigns.

Added Gall: "Being firmly based in the New York, Chicago and Los Angeles communities is vital to understanding our customers media needs and working with them to build innovative advertising campaigns."