Microsoft Advertising has appointed Sara Linfoot to the newly created position of Brand Integration Specialist. Based in Microsoft’s London office and working closely with the commercial and editorial teams, she will spearhead new opportunities for brands to create premium partnerships with MSN across Windows 8, Xbox, Skype, Windows Phone and Bing.
Linfoot brings 12 years’ digital experience in publishing and sales, latterly at Guardian News and Media (GNM) in roles including head of digital brand solutions and the commercial department’s digital innovation manager. Linfoot brokered the first commercial use of The Guardian’s ‘Open Platform’ API and the launch of The Guardian’s Music editorial channel with a commercial partner. She launched her own consultancy in 2010, developing digital strategies for a range of clients including Channel 4, The Fairtrade Foundation and Northcliffe Media.
Focusing on premium deals and using her experience in developing creative, long-term partnerships for GNM, Linfoot will work with brands to develop immersive content experiences on MSN – a platform that sees 23 million unique users every month. Such partnerships will offer engaging, bespoke content edited by the MSN editorial team, as seen with the recently launched MSN Food channel in partnership with Sainsbury’s.
Linfoot says “This is an extraordinary time for Microsoft. I’m looking forward to breaking new creative boundaries with a business that offers a unique combination of scale, content and technology. The continued investment in MSN’s editorial offering, combined with Microsoft technology, will allow us to maximise effectiveness for our clients and re-imagine advertising for our audiences.”
Linfoot will report directly to James Hayr, Head of Advertising Solutions. He adds: “Sara’s CV speaks for itself and we are delighted that she brings such rich experience to the MSN team. She will help our partners realise the incredible creative potential that the MSN platform in particular has to offer. Microsoft is reinventing the web and, with Sara, we will be co-creating with brands from the beginning, ensuring we develop the best possible campaigns together.”