Fox Kids Europe names first ad sales director

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LONDON -- Fox Kids Europe, the Fox Family Worldwide Inc. subsidiary, has appointed its first director of advertising sales as it looks to provide advertisers with a more cohesive offering across the markets in which it operates.

Rick Plata, 40, head of sales at NBC/CNBC until June, will join Fox Kids' London office August 3 with the brief to build panEuropean sales and review sales arrangements in its individual markets.

Fox Kids Network launched in the U.K. in October 1996, its first entry in Europe. It is now also in the Netherlands, France, Scandinavia, Poland and Spain, and plans are for continued rapid expansion into all major European countries.

All Fox Kids channels in Europe are in local languages and have customized content. Currently, ad sales are handled by sales directors and managing directors in each market, overseen by Fox Kids Europe managing Director Ynon Kreiz.

"Advertisers may have had three different proposals from three different markets," says Mr. Plata. The network's rapid growth has necessitated his new position, he says.

While many pan-regional TV networks are attempting to localize their offering, Mr. Plata claims advertisers are still looking for a pan-European solution in addition. He points to the recently launched News Corp. One, which will tailor-make ad packages across News Corp. media properties. Fox Family is jointly owned by News Corp. and program producer Saban Entertainment.

"If advertisers can go to one media owner who can provide coverage in all markets and a common plan that brings in other elements, such as competitions and merchandising, then they will be interested," Mr. Plata says. "We will bring economies of scale, a central idea, a consistent editorial platform and [a strategy] specifically designed to meet their objectives."

Before joining NBC/CNBC in 1995, Mr. Plata's career in agency media departments also included a four year spell at Hill Holliday Connors Cosmoplous, New York, as media director and director of business development.

Copyright July 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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