Spot Runner Deals Blow To MSN, Snags Top Exec

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wrestlemania.jpgADOTAS — The top executive at Microsoft Corp.’s MSN media network has jumped ship for tech-driven advertising newbie Spot Runner – a coup for the startup and a blow to MSN.

Joanne Bradford will spearhead Spot Runner’s new division – national marketing services, the unit focuses on national advertisers that aren’t being “served by the traditional agency community,” a release stated.

Bradford leaves MSN on the heels of a management shake-up in the software titan’s online advertising business – and Microsoft’s unsolicited bid for Yahoo Inc. Many industry vets see the takeover attempt as an admission of the company’s failure to compete with Google Inc.’s online advertising and search capabilities.

“Hiring Joanne is a huge win for Spot Runner and we are tremendously excited about the contributions she can make across our entire organization as a key member of the executive team. Her background in both online and offline media is a perfect fit for us,” said Nick Grouf, chairman and CEO of Spot Runner. “Early on, advertisers that were not served by the traditional agency community identified Spot Runner as an effective and affordable solution to market their business on a national and local level. As we’ve continued to make traction in this area, we saw the opportunity to bring on a seasoned senior executive to lead and accelerate our business with national advertisers.”

Spot Runner has recently gained steam as an advertising shop for smaller businesses. At MSN Bradford will reportedly be replaced by Greg Nelson until a permanent replacement can be found.

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