HuffPost Australia to establish dedicated commercial team

HuffPost Australia, which is a joint-venture between The Huffington Post and Fairfax Media, is forming its own dedicated commercial team one year after the company’s local launch.


The Australian is reporting changes are being made to the company’s sales team after media buyer Dentsu Aegis declined to renew a sales deal on the same terms after being disappointed by the site’s local impact.

HuffPost Australia CEO, JJ Eastwood, said: “I’m excited to be taking HuffPost Australia to the next stage of its growth. The formation of a dedicated sales team is an important step in continuing to drive the commercial success of our business, reaching almost two million Australians a month according to Nielsen.”

The commercial team will be led by Ashleigh Thomas, who takes on the new role of head of advertising and commercial partnerships having previously held the role of content studio producer.

“Thomas is an excellent ambassador of HuffPost Australia and will lead exciting plans for the brand’s continued growth,” Eastwood said.

Fairfax Media’s Group Director of Digital Ventures, Guy Reypert, said: “JJ and Ashleigh are a great combination, and will be a formidable force in driving commercial results for HuffPost Australia.

“Establishing a dedicated and specialist sales team for HuffPost Australia builds on the strong commercial foundation put in place by Fairfax’s network sales team since launching the site in August 2015.”

Huffington Post named Fairfax Media as its partner for its Australian launch in February 2015 with Dentsu Aegis securing the exclusive rights for HuffPost’s display and video inventory for 12 months in August 2015The Australian version of Huffington Post launched that same month.

The deal gave Dentsu Aegis clients access to the recently-launched site’s Australian display and video inventory across desktop and mobile; however, it did not extend to the site’s native advertising.

Dentsu Aegis agencies include Carat, Vizeum, Dentsu Mitchells and iProspect.

September saw The Huffington Post deliver a unique audience of 1.924m, down 2% on the site’s August audience of 1.968m.

The break-down of the sales arrangement follows on from the departure of HuffPost Australia CEO Chris Janz in August and could signal the end of Fairfax’s JV with The Huffington Post, although a Fairfax spokesperson firmly rejects this.

Janz took on the director of publishing innovation role at HuffPost’s joint-venture partner Fairfax Media.

The new commercial team is expected to be fully operational by March 31.

Dentsu Aegis has been approached for comment.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.