Facebook opens its first ad-sales office in Italy

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[Italy] Facebook has opened a commercial office in Italy to capitalise on the social network’s growth there. The news was picked up by major italian publications, and it may have a significant impact on the ecosystem here in Milan, even if it’s only a sales and business development office.

Of course Milan, as a the commercial centre for Italy, is a no-brainer to start an ad-sales office. However, it does mean it won’t be plugging in much to the startup scene which is largely centred around Rome, where it’s cheaper to operate from.

Italy is an important market for Facebook. It has more than 12 million registered users, and 6 million daily active users. The numbers are quite high: 23 minutes of average time spent on site, 2.6 visits per person and 50% of users that log in daily.

The new team will be lead by Diego Oliva, Facebook’s Commercial Director for Southern Europe. Oliva comes from TradeDoubler and his primary goal will be to support major italian advertisers including Barilla, Ferrero, Nokia Italy, 3 Italy and Vodafone Italy.

Vice President & Commercial Director EMEA, Blake Chandlee, said: “We are sure Italy will play a fundamental role in our global commercial strategy, given Italian users’ major growth and the sophisticated local digital marketing community.”

Oliva explained says the choice of Milan for the office means “a presence in a market we’re learning to understand. It’s our intention to work with other media centers and companies to develop interesting projects having a different approach to traditional digital marketing.”

  • Alessio Re

    Startup scene centered around Rome? Am I missing something or?

  • http://www.darkstarline.com Willim

    Facebook will probably do well in Italy; Mussolini did.

  • Giorgio Baresi

    Start-up scene in Rome? Are you kidding?

    • http://www.thestartup.eu Stefano Bernardi

      Mike added that bit, I’m assuming cause most of the news he heard were from startups around Rome.

      While it’s true that VCs and Angels are all based in Milan for obvious reasons it’s also true that a lot of very good startups have emerged in Rome in the last years.

      I don’t think we should even try to do a “war” or dispute about this, as historically it never got us anywhere. And instead try to collaborate between the two cities in order to push the startup scene in Italy.

      • Alessio Re

        Well, while I personally 100% agree with your stance, at the same time I can’t help but think uninformed opinions won’t get anyone far either. It’s no flame war; I just care about correct information.

      • Alessio Re

        Besides, this added bit is distorting the whole article, as Facebook’s move is presented like “it won’t be plugging in much to the startup scene which is largely centred around Rome”.

        Sorry Mike, but this is just plain misinformation, as well as a misjudgement of Facebook’s decision based on no facts.

  • http://www.thenextweb.com Nicolas Mertens

    According to Crunchbase it looks like the startup-scene in Italy is divided by three regions.
    The first being Milan, second Rome and closely third Firenze.

  • John Assam

    Well its good news for the Italian people that now they also have a chance to use facebook on a bigger note.
    John Assam

  • http://www.italylogue.com/news/italy-news-1-november-2009.html Italy News: 1 November 2009 | Italy Travel Guide

    […] has opened its first ad sales office in Italy, and they’re […]

  • http://sency.com/italiano/ Sency Italiano

    I wonder how the advertisers are doing in Italy

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