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AOL has combined its various online ad platforms into a single unit that will coordinate its fight with rivals Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft.

Dubbed ‘Platform A’, the group will effectively create a huge ad network out of AOL’s recent acquisitions, including Advertising.com, behavioural targeting network Tacoda, ad serving company AdTech, video ad firm Lightningcast and mobile ad network Third Screen Media.

In a culmination of AOL’s shift from subscription to advertising revenues, the company will also be relocating its HQ to New York.

AOL president Ron Grant told AP that the move would allow AOL to “develop a much closer relationship” with advertisers.

He added:

"There's been a big shift in advertising to favour the networks. We don't think portals are big enough to meet the needs of advertisers."

With leaner times ahead, the move will also possibly put Platform A in a better position to convince brands that online advertising is the way forward as they come under more pressure to prove RoI.

It follows Microsoft’s creation last month of a new ‘Advertiser and Publisher Solutions’ unit to promote its various online ad platforms to publishers and brands.

AOL has also signed a deal with HP to provide an AOL toolbar and be the default homepage on the PC maker’s devices.

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Published 17 September, 2007 by Richard Maven

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