Goodbye, Platform-A; Hello, AOL Advertising
AOL announced Friday that its sprawling ad unit -- encompassing premium ad sales on its owned-and-operated properties, its Advertising.com third-party ad network and its ADTECH ad-serving operations -- will be renamed AOL Advertising come September. "In talking to advertisers, marketers and agencies, we heard time and again that the AOL brand matters greatly in this space," said AOL's President of Global Advertising and Strategy, Jeff Levick.
"Harnessing the brand will help us better convey the power of what AOL has to offer advertisers with our premium content sites, third-party network and unique, data-driven consumer insights."
In turn, AOL Media will become the soon-to-be-independent company's way of presenting its premium consumer offerings -- both content and products -- to advertisers.
Time Warner recently confirmed plans to spin off AOL as a separate and publicly traded company by the end of the year.
Last week, AOL outlined a new five-point strategy, a critical part of which its ability to please advertisers. Levick -- brought on mid-April by AOL's recently named CEO, and former Google colleague, Tim Armstrong -- has been given that daunting challenge.
"We're looking at how our sales teams are organized, and deployed around groups of content," he told Online Media Daily last week. "We're reorganizing around customers and display-based advertising." Albeit in a dour ad climate, AOL continues to struggle. Ad sales dropped 20% in the first quarter of this year -- or $109 million -- surpassing the 18% decline in the fourth quarter.
In mid-May, AOL fired a reported 50 sales and marketing staffers, including many from Platform-A.
Without explicitly confirming additional layoffs, Levick told Online Media Daily: "Like any business that goes through massive change, there might be changes."