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Native ad platform Polar hires former Google exec Tom Jenen to drive European growth

Tom+JenenToronto digital advertising platform Polar has announced that Tom Jenen, founder and former head of market development in Europe for Admeld (which was acquired by Google in 2011 for $400 million), will be leading Polar’s global expansion as its new international president.

Polar has been working with a wide array of clients, including Time Inc, Hearst, Conde Nast, HuffPo and the Associated Press, to help publishers monetize their native advertising strategies.

“Tom’s joining the team lets us instantly tap into a vast knowledge of the UK and Europe’s digital publishing industry. Tom knows exactly what our potential customers need in a platform, and what our current customers need to bring their content revenue initiatives to scale,” said Polar CEO Kunal Gupta.

With almost 20 years of digital media and international advertising experience, Jenen is well positioned to help Polar expand its reach globally.

“Programmatic has been a true transformation for publishers, but that job is done. Where will publishers make revenue in the next five years? I was looking for an opportunity to help develop truly innovative technology solutions to that problem, and at Polar we have a chance to do exactly that. It’s a perfect fit,” said Jenen.

Even so, these are challenging times for digital marketers. With the rise of ad blocking technology, both informally and through

Apple’s apparent embrace of it, marketers must find ever more innovative ways to help advertisers get their message in front of consumers.

Spending on digital advertising in the UK alone hit £7.2 billion ($11.2 billion US) in 2014, and is only forecast to grow.

Although Polar has several European clients using its platform already, including The Telegraph, Haymarket, Hearst UK, Scripps Networks Interactive, and The Economist Group, the company expects Jenen’s appointment to expand that presence.

Founded in 2007, Polar raised a $6 million fundraising round led by Georgian Capital Partners two years ago, before launching its MediaVoice advertising platform in 2013.

Polar surpassed the “1 billion native ads served” milestone not quite a year ago.

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