'FINANCIAL TIMES' TAPS PUBLICIS/GLOBE: IN-HOUSE AD SALES EXECS DOWN TO 2

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The Financial Times dismissed most of its ad sales staff in the U.S. as part of a restructuring that comes just three months after the launch of its U.S. edition.

The newspaper hired Publicitas/Globe Media as its U.S. ad representative and let go six of its eight salespeople in the U.S.

"We could have either invested a lot more in bricks and mortar, which might have taken six to eight months, or outsourced the ad sales across the U.S.," said Stuart Arnold, managing director of the Financial Times in New York.

"Publicitas brings a lot of international experience, and I worked with Publicitas when I was at Fortune on selling international editions," said Mr. Arnold, who moved to the paper from Fortune in September. "It's not a cost savings measure but a coverage issue."

AD SALES STRONG

Mr. Arnold emphasized that ad and circulation sales have been strong. He said 1997 ad revenue placed from the U.S. in the Financial Times amounted to $30 million and that U.S. circulation has risen from 37,000 in September to 46,000.

"This [move] has been in the works for several months," said Dick Fontana, CEO at Publicitas/Globe Media in New York. He said Publicitas has hired 11 salespeople and will assign 17 people to handle the Financial Times in the U.S.

"We plan to increase the visibility of the [Financial Times] in the states, and we will almost triple the ad sales coverage," he said.

Publicitas, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, also handles international ad sales for Travel & Leisure, Sunset, Southern Living and Food & Wine.

The two executives remaining on the U.S. sales staff are Michael Geach, who will handle ad sales in Central and South America for the U.S. edition, and Tim Hart, promoted from sales representative to national sales manager.

Richard Willis' post of exec VP of the Financial Times in New York was

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