Just An Online Minute... Is AOL Open For Business?
After only a year in the company's top ad sales job, Lisa Brown, AOL's exec- VP of Interactive Marketing, left earlier this month. Brown, appointed by AOL-CEO Jon Miller for whom she worked at InterActive Corp., issued a string of mea culpas last year for AOL's shoddy relations with marketers and agencies. She pledged to improve relations and build a world-class sales organization. She said all the right things.
In Brown's wake, Michael Barrett, AOL's hard-working and well-regarded exec- VP and national sales director, has taken over some of her duties. But Michael Kelly, president of Time Warner's Global Marketing Solutions organization, appears to be the new kingpin. Kelly orchestrates integrated ad sales/sponsorships and a lot of other things from his perch at corporate. The world's largest Internet community has cycled through four ad sales chiefs in three years, but who's counting. A refresher may be in order: There was Myer Berlow, whose heavy-handed tactics with marketers reeled in multi-year multimillion ad deals many of which amounted to smoke-and- mirrors; Bob Friedman, (blink, and you'd have missed him); Bob Sherman (drafted from Time Warner Cable retirement to rebuild the sales team with shoeleather and nice-guy tactics); and then Lisa Brown (we never did get to know her).
So at AOL, the gears are grinding (again), the ad sales troops are rallying and I'm told that they're still pounding the pavement. That clickety-click- clicking sound you heard-- was the sound of Ms. Brown's Manolos skittering out the door.