Viacom Sets Up New Velocity Sales Unit

Viacom said it is starting a new division within its ad sales unit that will specialize in multi-platform social partnerships.

With lower ratings cutting into its ad revenue, Viacom has been trying to attract ad dollars with non-Nielsen data and marketing programs that can reach younger consumers.

The Velocity Products Group will use the company’s social and data products to help clients extend their messages using Snapchat, Twitter, Tumblr and other outlets. Viacom says the number of its clients using the Velocity offering doubled to more than 100 blue chip marketers after this year’s upfront.

“Viacom's Ad Sales organization and the new Velocity Product Group bring our ad partners unrivaled creativity, cutting edge possibilities, and expertise to connect them with our highly-engaged millennial audience." said Jeff Lucas, Viacom head of sales in a statement.

The new group is headed by Elizabeth Herbst-Brady, executive VP of ad sales strategy and products. She reports to Lucas. Reporting the Herbst-Brady are Kalina Nikolova, senior VP, strategy, and Sarah Iooss, promoted to the newly created role of senior VP, Velocity Product Group. Deborah Brett becomes VP of Velocity Products Group reporting to Iooss.

Velocity Product Group's offerings include:

• Viacom Vantage – Using a combination of Viacom's proprietary data and third party data from multiple sources, Vantage offers advertisers precise consumer targeting and predictive capabilities.

• Echo – A strategic approach to harnessing Viacom's social reach with customized programs for ad partners. An analytics tool, Echo Social Graph, measures engagement by tapping multiple social platforms, including those outside of Viacom's own portfolio.

• The Social Talent Platform – Velocity makes talent engagement turnkey by giving advertisers direct access to a growing roster of social superstars for custom campaigns.

• Integration+ – This gives advertisers added flexibility and choice when customizing their branded entertainment opportunities.

• Pulse Real-Time Marketing – An exclusive multi-platform functionality that puts partners into the cultural conversation with sharable content.

• Social Media Advertising Partnerships – Key social media partnerships with Twitter, Snapchat, and Tumblr bolster the reach and impact of social-by-design campaigns.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.