The Economist Group has brought its sales and circulation divisions back together as its strategy changes direction to solve “joint marketing challenges”.

The new publisher team will be led by the group’s managing director and chief marketing officer of circulation, Michael Brunt, under a new chief operating officer role. Mark Cripps, currently executive vice president, brand and digital marketing, has been promoted to executive vice president, chief marketing officer.

The Economist split its circulation and sales businesses back in 2013 to focus on growing its circulation – which now stands at 1.4m worldwide, 1.25m (or 96%) of which are subscribers – but Brunt says the focus is now on making that circulation profitable for advertisers.

“We’ve just come out of a year of record revenues and both sides of the business are doing really well,” Brunt tells Marketing Week.

“We’ve got a stable print advertising revenue and what we provide for our clients is highly valued. But we’re missing out because it doesn’t enable us to work in partnership as a circulation business and with clients folded together. It doesn’t enable us to work together to solve joint marketing challenges. And we can do where the values of us and our clients are aligned and where our target audiences overlap.”

Brunt says The Economist has increasingly been working with its clients’ marketing teams to come up with mutually beneficial ways in which they can tap into each other’s resources.

“What we’ve started to tap into now is where our clients share…