Paramount reorganizes ad sales structure amid declines

    • Paramount Global’s advertising sales arm has been restructured, according to media reports.
    • Led by John Halley, the company’s newly installed head of ad sales, the shuffling is intended to streamline Paramount’s interactions with major advertising holding companies by providing a single point of access to its advertising solutions.
    • The moves come just months after Halley succeeded 30-year company veteran Jo Ann Ross as president of Paramount Advertising, and just days after the company reported overall ad sales declined 2% in the third quarter.

    Paramount’s structural changes to its ad business are designed to address some of the current macroeconomic issues by focusing on segments with the highest growth potential, Paramount Global CFO Naveen Chopra said in an earnings call last week. According to a memo cited by news outlets, the move is intended to align the company with its media agency partners and to “help them more easily activate across Paramount’s powerful portfolio of brands.”

    Economic forces, including high inflation, softening consumer demand and the ongoing war in Ukraine have led companies to pull back on advertising spending. As a result, the company expects advertising prospects to remain weak and the year-over-year rate of change in total advertising for the fourth quarter to be similar to the third quarter, per Chopra. Paramount expects the changes to its advertising structure to start to pay off in 2023.

    Under the new structure, Karen Phillips, formerly executive vice president of convergent ad sales, will oversee relationships with Omnicom Media Group, GroupM, Horizon Media and independent agencies. She will also oversee new business development. Chris Simon, formerly executive vice president of network sales, will lead Paramount’s dealings with Interpublic Group, Dentsu and Publicis. Both Phillips and Simon will have the title of executive vice president, head of agency partnerships. 

    Meanwhile, David Lawenda, formerly executive vice president of digital sales and strategy, will become chief digital advertising officer, with responsibilities for all digital sales, including programmatic and local. 

    The moves come on the heels of Paramount Global announcement that quarterly revenue fell short of analysts’ expectations. Though total revenue rose 5% to $6.92 billion, analysts projected revenues would exceed $7 billion. Some of the shortfall could be attributed to declining advertising revenues, which dropped 2% in the quarter.


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