ValueClick Europe picks InfoSpace chief to front Search123 launch

ValueClick Europe has appointed Nigel Frith as its head of search. He will be responsible for the European launch of Search123, ValueClick’s search marketing business.

Frith will also be in charge of building other search-related revenue across ValueClick’s existing business portfolio. In addition to ValueClick Media, which offers online marketing and pay-per-click campaigns, the US-based company owns affiliate marketing specialist Commission Junction, comparison shopping site Pricerunner and online and offline agency Mediaplex.

Search marketing is expected to be a major area for growth in Europe. According to the latest set of figures from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers, search marketing in the UK took 40.9 per cent of the total &£279.4m spent on online advertising in the first half of 2004. The amount spent on search marketing – &£114.3m – was more than double the spend for the same period in 2003.

Frith joins from international search company InfoSpace, where he was responsible for the business development strategy for its search and directories business, overseeing major deals with online brands such as Directory.co.uk and Mirror.co.uk. Before that, he worked in marketing for companies such as BMW GB and Canon.

Over the past two years, ValueClick has embarked on an ambitious expansion programme, buying Pricerunner for $29m (&£15.6m) in August 2004 and Search123.com for $5m (&£2.7m) in June 2003.

Meanwhile, in the US, ValueClick has just announced that its Mediaplex and AdWare Systems subsidiaries have been united under the Mediaplex brand name. ValueClick acquired Mediaplex and AdWare Systems through its acquisition of Mediaplex Inc. in October, 2001.

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