AOL’s Platform A Combines Tacoda, Network Sales Forces

AOL has reorganized its Platform A ad network division to consolidate its offerings to brand advertisers.

Effective immediately, the formerly separate Tacoda and AOL Network sales groups will reside under a single Marketing Solutions unit led by Kathy Kayse, a 23-year Time Warner vet who formerly led AOL’s in-house sales only. Advertising.com will continue to operate independently and report to Lynda Clarizio.

“Advertising.com has traditionally operated as a performance network with tight ROI,” explained Curt Viebranz, AOL EVP and president of Platform A. By contrast, he said, Platform A marketing solutions will unify the divisions that historically appeal to large brand advertisers.

AOL’s own sites have traditionally offered a combination of contextual and behavioral placements in combination with a range of other targeting factors, while Tacoda has been more squarely focused on behavioral targeting.

Viebranz was quick to add there will be coordination between Platform A’s premium targeted inventory and its Advertising.com division. He said compensation will be tied to the overall value delivered to Platform A, and the company’s largest accounts will be served in a more holistic manner.

In addition to the Kayse appointment, AOL promoted Mark Ellis to lead Eastern sales teams in Boston, New York, Dulles, Atlanta and Detroit. Meanwhile, Matt Arkin was given oversight of sales efforts focused on Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas and Chicago.

Platform A was created in September to centralize management of the AOL’s all-important network sales operations. In addition to its AOL Network, Tacoda and Advertising.com vehicles, the division houses mobile ad firm Third Screen Media, ad management firm AdTech, and text ad seller Quigo.

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