AOL Gathers Advertising Under Platform A

AOL is consolidating its advertising assets and calling it Platform A.

The move brings the Time Warner-owned Web access giant’s recent acquisitions together under one roof with its existing advertising operation, AOL has built a portfolio of Internet marketing service companies through a string of recent purchases, including audience measurement service TACODA, mobile advertising outfit Third Screen Media, broadband ad provider Lightningcast and German ad services company ADTECH.

The move is part of AOL’s strategy to shift from an access business to an ad-supported business, which has come under fire from investors in recent months as the division’s ad revenue growth has slipped.

Pali Research analyst Rich Greenfield has been an outspoken proponent of a split-up that would include AOL being sold off. “We continue to believe the best way to maximize AOL’s value is for Time Warner to put the asset up for auction,” Greenfield said in a research note last month, “We believe there are a substantial number of strategic buyers that could maximize AOL’s value to [Time Warner].”

Curtis Viebranz, the former CEO of TACODA, will be the executive vice president of Platform A.

As part of the realignment, AOL will relocate its corporate offices to New York from Dulles, Virginia.

AOL also announced today that its portal, toolbar and search function will be included on new Hewlett-Packard computers. The portal will be co-branded “AOL/HP” and will be the default settings on HP’s PCs and notebooks.