Grey London takes AOL account after pitch

Grey London has beaten TBWA\London and Mortimer Whittaker O'Sullivan to win the creative assignment on AOL's £29 million UK account. The move marks the end of Connie, the brand's public face for the past five years.

Her role had already diminished significantly over the past six months and Grey's capture of the business means she will never appear again to promote the ISP.

Industry sources say her role has become irrelevant now that most people are familiar with the internet and that she would not be appropriate to introduce more sophisticated products such as AOL 9, which Grey will launch via a TV campaign early next year.

It is unlikely that AOL will create a new brand spokesperson to replace her.

Connie was the invention of MWO, which loses its brand business but will be retained for tactical work. Media buying remains with Vizeum.

Tim Mortimer, the MWO managing partner, said there was no intention to make redundancies among the 20-strong team working on the AOL account.

"Most of our work over the past three years has been tactical and we're satisfied that we'll continue to have a profitable relationship with AOL," he added. "We've been told to keep our team together."

For Grey, which is currently being put through an image overhaul by its chief executive, Garry Lace, the win marks a significant step in its efforts to strike a better balance between internationally aligned and domestic accounts.