What do they do? They sell ads across the online company’s three
brands, AOL, CompuServe and Netscape. AOL is for the family, Netscape is
for net-savvy youths and CompuServe is for business professionals.
Good offices? Spanking new premises on Hammersmith Road, not far from
Kensington High Street. Staff praise the well-equipped meeting rooms,
which have full audio-visual facilities. There are colourful kitchens,
called ’oasis areas’, on each floor.
What’s it like? Young, friendly and non-hierarchical. Casual dress is
the norm. The 200 or so staff are split evenly in terms of sex and
although this is no Noah’s Ark, sources say there is a fair bit of
Even marriages are not unheard of. There are also quite a few gay
Prejudice of any kind is not tolerated.
After-work drinking takes place at the Queen’s Head on Brook Green. Late
nights and working through lunch are not encouraged - but you’re
expected to work hard the rest of the time.
What about perks? A non-contributory pension, sickness benefit, 25 days
annual holiday and free membership of Holmes Place health club. Sales
people get a laptop, a mobile phone and a car allowance. Occasional
European travel includes heavily-subsidised trips to play in the AOL
pan-European football tournament.
Free massages, given at employees’ desks, are very popular.
How does it recruit? Without much difficulty, as everyone wants to get
into new media. But the company is keen to find people with experience,
so there’s no graduate recruitment scheme.
Is it good at training? Staff are encouraged to be proactive. If you
want to be trained in a particular area, ask to be sent on a course.
How do you get ahead? Stick around - the industry’s growing so fast it
isn’t difficult to move up the ladder. But you must seem dedicated.
There’s a team spirit, so bitching is career inhibiting.