Hearst UK has appointed Ali Gray as Branded Content Director. In her new role, she will oversee the creation of all branded content across Hearst UK’s 23 brands.
Formerly Head of Digital Content Studio, Gray has been promoted to lead a fully integrated Content Studio division that now encompasses both print and digital media. The Content Studio will work closely with the Creative Solutions sales team, who deliver innovative solutions for media agencies and clients. Gray joined Hearst in 2016 as Senior Editor and previously held roles at Telegraph Media Group, Time Inc. UK and NBC Universal. She has worked on both print and digital editorial teams.
Under her leadership, the branded content team will receive significant investment with five new hires. The studio has been restructured to focus on five core pillars: Digital Content, Digital Design, Art, Video and Print Content. New appointments include: Gene Limbrick as Head of Video, Ben Briley as Head of Creative, Robyn Munson as Digital Content Lead and Sarah Cavill as Head of Digital Design.
Ali Gray, Branded Content Director, Hearst UK, says; “For the past two years, I’ve been focused on growing and improving our output for digital branded content here at Hearst. We’ve seen great success, with revenue increasing more than 80% since last year. In this new role, I’m eager to apply those learnings to an already successful and engaged print content solution output, as well as elevating our video strategy. Our goal for all platforms is to hold our branded content to the same editorial standards that are ingrained in our trusted brands. When we’re engaging and delighting our audiences, we’re better positioned to deliver our clients’ messaging.”
Jane Wolfson, Chief Agency Officer, Hearst UK, says; “Unsurprisingly given our extraordinary product, our creative solutions are in big demand and growing strongly. We have a commitment to creativity and innovation and our strategy is to build creative solutions which solve our commercial partners business needs and help them get more out of life. Ali and her team have delivered engaging content which our audiences love, whilst going above and beyond the expectations of our clients and partners. We look forward to delighting our customers with more award-winning work and aggressively scaling this core element of our business with key appointments, including a new Head of Create role.”
The growth of the Content Studio follows Hearst UK’s recently launched Engaged View Rate (EVR) metric which demonstrates the engagement quality of digital branded content for its commercial partners.