Facebook opens its first ad-sales office in Italy

[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.”