Snap looks to 'underscore commitment' to agencies as it poaches Facebook's Ed Couchman

Couchman will report into Valoti, who has recently been promoted from the overseeing Northern Europe to VP international sales

Snap has tapped Facebook's UK director of agency partnerships, Ed Couchman, to serve as its UK general manager – placing an emphasis on the role he will play in building out the business's agency relations in the market.

Couchman will report into Claire Valoti, who has recently been promoted from the overseeing Northern Europe to the position of vice-president, international sales at tech firm.

The pair previously worked together at Facebook before Valoti joined Snap in 2015. Under her leadership Snap has opened a second london office and grown its UK workforce from six employees to 140.

Giving some insight into what Couchman's remit will include, Valoti said: “We have an incredibly skilled and hardworking team in the UK and Ed is the right person to take the business to the next level.

"He has a proven track record of building strong relationships within the media and advertising industry and his appointment underscores our continued commitment to our agency partners in the UK.”

While at Facebook, Couchman spearheaded the social giant's 'Blueprint' scheme, during which it ran sessions with media shops, including Havas and Publicis, to teach them about how Facebook's features could help build a holistic media plan.

In 2016, he told The Drum that Facebook was also acting as a partner to agencies in the midst of a "digital transformation journey" by helping them upskill their internal teams.

As a fairly young platform in comparison to Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat is likely hoping to draw on some of Couchman's experience in building long-term relationships with both agencies and advertisers.

Over the past 24 months Snap has been focused on making the platform easier to use for brands, creators and buyers. It has also introduced self-serve purchase and creative tools and rolled out partnerships with agencies like Undertone.

“Snap has scaled incredibly quickly in the UK and I look forward to building on the success of Claire and the UK team," said Couchman in a statement.

"Snapchat’s efforts to remove friction from visual communication has resulted in a highly engaged, mobile-first audience. It will be great working with advertisers to figure out how it fits into their overall marketing and communications strategy and delivers the business results they need."

The Drum understands that Facebook does have plans to replace Couchman and that in the interim his responsibilities will be shared by longstanding Facebook team members Nick Pestell, who is UK agency group head, and KJ Weir, creative agency partner manager, for media agencies and creative agencies respectively.

Commenting on the news, Facebook's vice-president for Northern Europe Steve Hatch said: “We wish Ed the very best in his move as he embarks on the next stage of his career, and I would like to thank him for his dedication and contribution to the business over the last six years.”

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