A former Gawker sales head has landed as VP of Sales at 140 Proof, a San Francisco-based ad platform for Twitter and Facebook. Michael Cascio worked as Media Director of Sales for Gawker from 2006 until December 31, when he and sales head Christopher Batty left over disagreements on strategy with Nick Denton. Cascio started at 140 Proof six weeks ago, he said.
The company offers targeted advertising through third party Twitter clients where advertisers pay per click. Cascio said he was attracted to 140 Proof’s differentiated packaging of social stream ads. “We’re helping advertisers who see barriers to entry in social advertising because of tracking and the ability to back into traditional methods of measurement,” Cascio said.
The hire is a play to raise the startup’s profile in New York, he said. The company is actively recruiting more sales staff in the city. BlueRun Ventures, Mark Kingdon, SV Angels, and Founders Fund closed a $2.5 million Series B investment into 140 Proof in April.
The company’s customers include Microsoft, Infiniti, General Motors, Levi’s, AT&T, and Victoria’s Secret. Cascio said he’s recently activated accounts with Vitaminwater and AMC, a campaign led by New York agency Targetcast.
When Cascio and Batty left Gawker, Nick Denton attributed much of the company’s 56% annual revenue growth since 2005 to them. In an internal memo, Denton said Batty would be launching a new advertising venture with Gawker as a partner and investor.
Prior to Gawker, Cascio was Vice President of Sales of CollegeHumor.com.