ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) has established a new commercial team, dedicated to leveraging its social platforms business in the UK.
The designated unit, Velocity UK, will draw on the power of VCNI brands and its local UK expertise to act as the exclusive source for clients looking to reach audiences across its social inventory in the UK. The team will work closely with Sky Media, who will continue to handle all linear, VoD and sponsorship ad sales for ViacomCBS Networks UK and Ireland (VCN UK).
Velocity UK will be headed up by Lee Sears (pictured), Executive Vice President and General Manager, Digital & Ad Sales, VCNI, and will be responsible for managing all digital and social inventory across VCN UK’s brands. This includes pay-TV channels MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, in addition to free-to-air public service broadcaster Channel 5 and the CBS portfolio of channels.
In addition, the team will develop premium socially targeted campaigns for clients, with branded custom content partnerships that will stand alone on the network’s brand-safe social platforms or act as a compliment to on-air partnerships or events, including the upcoming MTV EMAs, Nickelodeon Slime Fest and Channel 5’s Five on the Farm event.
The UK based team will be led by Amil Shah, who has been promoted to Vice President of International & Digital Sales and will report to Sears. Christa Thompson, Director of Digital Sales, has joined the team from Vevo UK where she led the business across a range of major media agencies and clients and will now oversee video and display inventory sales for Velocity UK. Aphrodite Kapeleris, Digital Brand Content Manager, will lead the branded content initiatives.
“As our business continues to grow its digital and streaming priorities, we have the opportunity to meet increased demand in this space and serve different clients in new and exciting ways, enabling them to reach non-linear viewers across all demographics in an authentic way,” Sears commented. “Using the scale of ViacomCBS’ brands, intricate media and local UK knowledge, Velocity UK will create and place platform-intentional content across our valuable IP, delivering targeted campaigns and providing end to end brand safe solutions for clients.”
Velocity UK will sit under the umbrella of ViacomCBS’ international commercial division, Velocity, which handles linear and digital sales across multiple markets.
The new team is currently working with a number of clients on branded content and premium buys across VCN UK’s digital and social inventory, with more details to follow soon.