Ask.com's senior global marketing director departs as marketing shifts to US

Ask Jeeves: the search engine's mascot
Ask Jeeves: the search engine's mascot

Ask.com, the IAC-owned search-and-answer service, has parted company with its senior global marketing director Sarah Bartlett, as its winds down the UK marketing function in favour of a global strategy.

Bartlett, who joined the Ask Network six years ago as senior UK marketing manager, has left the company without a job to go to.

All marketing for Ask.com's Ask Jeeves UK service is to be handled out of the US headquarters in Oakland.

A spokeswoman said this was to ensure "better consistency and alignments of Ask.com's global Q&A message."

Shane McGilloway, chief revenue officer, is overseeing its global marketing strategy.

According to a spokeswoman, Bartlett's was the only marketing role in the UK, and a small team remains to handle communications from the London office.

Ask Jeeves, which was launched in 1997, specialises in answering specific questions from users, using a cartoon butler, "Jeeves".

It changed its name to Ask.com in 2006, dropping the butler character, but brought it back when the site relaunched in 2009 as Ask Jeeves in the UK. It remained as Ask.com in the US.

A spokeswoman confirmed the service will maintain the Ask Jeeves brand in the UK.

Over the past two years, Ask Jeeves has repositioned itself as a question-and-answer service, rather than a search engine, as it moved to differentiate itself from rivals such as Google, which has the majority of search share.

It wound down its search technology business in the UK in November 2010, and announced all search was to be powered by third-party feeds.

According to comScore data, the UK site, Ask.co.uk received 14 million unique visitors in January, which is a 77.4% growth year on year. Globally, Ask.com received 198 million unique visitors for the same month, which is up 26.2% from the previous year.

Earlier this week, the service launched a Question of the Week iPhone app, its first mobile app in the UK.

The news comes in the same week that Friends Reunited, another pre-dot-com-bubble digital brand, relaunched the social networking service.

Follow Sarah Shearman on Twitter @Shearmans

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