AOL Promotes Ad Platform Across Europe
New York - AOL, a unit of Time Warner Inc. on Friday announced the extension of its Platform-A Internet advertising service in Europe. The spreading out is part of its plan to extend the reach of its advertising business worldwide by the close of 2009.
The move by the Time Warner Inc. unit comes less than one year after it switched its AOL script in the U.S., shifting roles from being Internet portal to a one-stop Web-based advertising business. The service enables advertisers to make use of the company’s optimization technology and behavioral targeting in combination with Advertising.com’s social media, affiliate marketing, search, video and mobile inventories, according to Lynda Clarizio, president of Platform-A.
AOL’s European publishing network already possesses and operated sites in 13 countries. The company also lately purchased U.K. social media company Bebo and announced last month that it would combine Bebo with AIM, ICQ and some other properties to form the People Networks division.
According to AOL, this announcement, brings into line its existing advertising operations and offers advertisers and publishers a full suite of marketing solutions powered by the Web’s advanced advertising technologies.
The European advertising operations that the company hopes to support via this extension are Advertising.com, which has sales offices in nine countries in Europe; Frankfurt-based ADTECH, an ad serving company in Europe; buy.at, an affiliate network based in the U.K.; and also AOL's ad sales teams in Europe.
Furthermore, the combination of new organization also expects to integrate advanced technologies such as contextual search by Quigo, behavioral targeting by TACODA, and mobile ad-serving by Third Screen Media.
By bringing Platform-A to Europe, “we can offer advertisers the best marketing tools and technologies available to help them effectively and efficiently deliver their messages to online audiences across Europe,” said Randy Falco, chairman and CEO at AOL.
Platform-A’s thrust into the European advertising market would influence its existing advertising operations in nine countries, including France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and the UK. Over the past several months, AOL has acquired advertising outfits such as Advertising.com, German-based Adtech and Buy.at, an affiliate network out of the UK.
Its most high-profile purchase recently, however, is Bebo, the UK-based social media company. However, the site is on the radar in the U.S., though it is more popular among users in the UK.
“It is a major acquisition in terms of a consumer-facing product. That will certainly help them retain and sustain their reach to a younger demographic, which is one of their strengths. It will certainly give them more of a presence in Europe and a whole lot of advertising inventory,” said Karsten Weide, an IDC analyst.
AOL also appointed Brendan Condon as head of Platform-A’s international operations. He previously led Advertising.com’s international operations.
Condon, who will report to Platform-A president Lynda Clarizio, will oversee the alignment of the platform’s European ad operations, including Advertising.com, Frankfurt-based ad servicing company Adtech, and the UK-based affiliate Buy.at, as well as AOL’s ad sales teams in Europe.