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Viacom Bolsters Data Efforts For Advertisers With New Hires

Viacom Inc. has hired three new executives to lend oversight to a corporate effort that helps marketers place advertisements more precisely across its portfolio of cable networks and other media properties.

The New York owner of MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central said it hired  Bryson Gordon as senior vice president of data strategy and Viacom Vantage; Gabe Bevilacqua as vice president of product management for Viacom Vantage; and, Kodi Foster as vice president of data strategy. Viacom Vantage is an effort that uses information about how consumers watch the company’s TV networks to help advertisers reach the consumers most likely to be interested in their specific pitches.

“These sorts of marketplace products and tools will be built largely around significant investment in senior leaders and top coders and scientists coming in from the client side, the agency side, from the digital world,” explained Kern Schireson, executive vice president of data strategy and consumer intelligence at Viacom, in an interview.

Viacom has been besieged by ratings declines at many of its best-known networks and has vowed to devise new ways to work with advertisers that don’t always hinge on traditional Nielsen viewership measures. Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman has said he wants the company to base 50% of its ad sales over the next three years on new metrics that could include such things as social-media impressions over the next three years, up from 30% at the end of the company’s most recent fiscal year.

Bevilacqua and Foster will report to Gordon, who will manage the team under the leadership of Schireson.

Gordon spent more than a decade at Microsoft leading consumer marketing, product management, and business incubation teams across Windows, Xbox, Office, Microsoft Store, and most recently, Surface. He helped oversee an effort that identified swaths of influential consumer within the company’s consumer base.  Prior to Microsoft, Gordon led consumer product management at McAfee Security.
Bevilacqua was most recently chief operating officer at Rallyverse, a content-marketing company he co-founded. He spent six years at Microsoft, most recently as a director for the company’s Atlas business. He also was a global brand manager for Guinness World Records.
 Foster served as head of brand initiatives at Outbrain, where he led strategic account solutions and partnerships. Prior to that, he was vice president of business development at Sahara Media Holdings, a publicly traded investment company specializing in digital media.

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