Yahoo finalises team to lead agency transition to Bing search platform

Yahoo has appointed MediaVest associate director Jon Myers as head of account management for the UK & Ireland as it steps up preparation for combining its search platform with Microsoft’s Bing next year.

Myers, who joins later this month after three years at MediaVest, will manage Yahoo’s relationships with agencies and brands as they transfer search activity to the new platform – known as the Search Alliance – in the first part of 2011. He will also be responsible for display relationships.

He will report directly to incoming MD James Wildman and replaces Nick Gill, who’s returning to Australia after two years in the position and four years at Yahoo.

The ten-year search deal will see Microsoft’s Bing power Yahoo’s search results, with Yahoo managing premium advertising relationships.

Both companies say a combined offering will provide a more robust competitor to Google and be more attractive to advertisers. Google currently has a 60% market share in North America and 90% in the UK.

Yahoo sales director Steve Brown said Myers’ appointment signified the company’s commitment to ensure both search and display ad partners are aware of the opportunities the search alliance will bring. “It’s paramount our customers are served efficiently and our display and search products work in harmony,” he said.

Both Yahoo and Microsoft have begun introducing the Search Alliance to UK agencies, but industry experts say more conversations are needed to ensure confidence in the multi-million-pound alliance is high.

Chris Whitelaw, president of i-Spy marketing, said, “We want to see what they’re going to do to really innovate to take on Google.”

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