AOL and the Ad Agencies

By Deane Barker on September 26, 2003

Hearts and Minds: AOL’s Agency Problem: Interesting look at how AOL irked ad agencies when they were at their height. Now they’re scrambling to mend fences because the user base is shrinking along with their pull in the market.

“For the most part, the deals were unsustainable. …AOL was charging CPM rates that were seven times the going rate. Even after the dot-com bubble burst, he said, AOL’s ad team had difficulty adjusting to the new reality. …

AOL developed a bad reputation with agencies for cutting them out of deals, going straight to the client instead. While AOL could do this in its salad days, the end of the boom left it without such clout.”