Summary:

MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA) has formed a new unit called Digital Fusion to package advertising and marketing deals across the Viacom company’s…

MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA) has formed a new unit called Digital Fusion to package advertising and marketing deals across the Viacom company’s growing web-based and mobile properties. Digital Fusion will operate as part of MTVN’s Digital Advertising group and is headed by Jason Witt, SVP and GM, Digital Fusion. Witt, whose most recent title was SVP, online distribution and partnerships, will report to Nada Stirratt, EVP, Digital Advertising.

The new unit is charged with making use of both existing inventory and coming up with original products, such as video content, online games, microsites and widgets. Ensuring that it’s able to tie all marketing programs under MTVN together, Digital Fusion will be able to tap the individual parts of the company’s Product Development, Ad Operations and Research departments.

The introduction of the special interactive ad unit represents the progression of MTVN’s digital strategy over the past year: from this month’s earlier roll out of the Flux social media platform, to its plans to back a new gaming business with a $500 million investment over the next two years, and the creation of targeted websites and virtual worlds.

A Cautionary Tale: Apart from attempting to sharpen its digital content focus this year, MTVN has also been searching for the right ad sales structure that would encompass its interactive properties. Digital Fusion is its second high-profile attempt to do just that. Back in February, the Viacom unit realigned its ad sales along channel programming groups, which led to the creation of the Digital Advertising sales unit that now houses Digital Fusion. By September, MTVN soured on at least one part of that change, as Digital Advertising’s first experiment in multi-platform marketing, the Brand Solutions group, was disbanded. Release

By David Kaplan

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