AOL, the UK’s second largest online service provider, has launched
its own advertising sales house and has signed up its first advertisers
a year after its arrival in the UK.
The sales operation, Ad On, will initially sell space on AOL and its
Website exclusively, but will expand to sell space for third-party
The decision to sell space online in the UK follows the announcement in
January that AOL’s UK membership had passed the critical 100,000
The first three companies to sign up are the software giant, Microsoft,
the modem company, US Robotics, and the online recruitment consultancy,
Corporate Net. As well as IT advertisers, Ad On will target consumer
electronics and automotive clients.
AOL aims to take around 35 per cent of the UK online ad market during
1997, which is projected to be worth pounds 2 million.
AOL has sold ads online in the US for several years, where the market
was worth more than dollars 350 million in 1996.
Ad On will sell on the basis of guaranteed impressions, with rates
ranging from pounds 40 per thousand impressions on the Web to pounds 60
per thousand on AOL’s online service, which is only available to
Jonathan Bulkeley, the managing director of AOL UK, commented: ’We are
quite expensive, but it is worth it. We are not over-loading the service
with ads as a our subscribers are not interested in that. Secondly, we
are making sure we match advertising with relevant editorial.’