Lastminute.com signs Ryanair for new ad sales arm

Lastminute.com has launched its own online advertising sales arm, LM Media, and announced its first major account win. Irish no-frills airline Ryanair has signed a three-year deal with the fledgling media agency to sell advertising space on the airline’s website.

It is the first time that Ryanair has offered space on its site, which attracts 700 million hits a month, to commercial advertisers. Lastminute.com has sold advertising space on its own group of about 60 websites since 2000, and in March this year set up its own operation under the name LM Media.

The company, now a subsidiary of lastminute.com, has hired 20 new members of staff who are working with members of the lastminute.com commercial team. LM Media already has a presence in Australia, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

Advertising sales across the lastminute.com group of websites are thought to be worth about &£10m a year, and the agency already lists other sites, including ipodworld and ediets, a nutrition website owned by Tesco.

LM Media managing director Matt Gower says there are about 16,000 suppliers already advertising across the lastminute.com group, and this gives the start-up a unique resource.

The Ryanair deal was sealed after LM Media approached the airline and pitched its services. Ryanair head of advertising Santina Doherty says the deal has “huge revenue potential” and Gower describes it as a “major coup” and “probably the largest deal of its kind this year”.

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