The appointment does not affect the core AOL UK creative account, held by Mortimer Whittaker O'Sullivan. The news comes as AOL UK gears up for a £20 million creative and media review.
A spokesman said the company awarded the interactive task to another agency because it wanted to target business people. AOL UK targets the consumer market using the "Connie" character, a mainstay of its above-the-line advertising since 1998.
In its first work, cdp-travissully will produce a press campaign to run across specialist industry titles. However, the campaign is part of a long-term advertising strategy designed to attract more online advertising spend, which will be channelled through the agency, rather than MWO.
"AOL wants to grow the slice of advertising cake that comes online," Peter Travis, the chief executive of cdp-travissully, said. "We want to promote to advertisers, ad agencies and the media community that online needs to be re-appraised."
MWO is developing a campaign to promote the company's new premium portal product, AOL 8, to consumers.
UK advertisers spent £196.7 million online last year, an increase of 19 per cent over 2001, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Last week, the Securities & Exchange Commission extended its investigation into parent company AOL Time Warner to include advertising deals that may have inflated ad revenues at AOL by $125 million (£79.4 million).