AOL's Ad Plan: Sell Less For More To More

jefflevick tbi

AOL’s ad revenue turnaround plan is simple: Remove junk inventory and open up to mum-and-Pop advertisers.

Toward that end, AOL:

  • Removed all but one ad from
  • Cut back ads on MapQuest by 60%.
  • Will soon open an online store for self-servicing ad-buyers.

AOL (TWX) ad sales leader Jeff Levick explained to PaidContent:

“We want to be the world’s biggest platform for display advertising. The way to do that is to open it up to all advertisers and publishers large and small.’s growth is limited to our ability to strike exclusive relationships with publishers and to work directly with advertisers. We want to have a self-service interface, so people who access display advertising can do that through … Today, the business has been limited to large advertisers and ad agencies. We want to open that up. And besides, if you’re going to do something, you might as well go big.”

In a July 17 memo to employees, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said the less-is-more plan is already working at MapQuest.

“On MapQuest, we removed almost 60% of the ads on some important pages, simplified the information and moved more content above the fold. Traffic went up and our revenue didn’t significantly change.”

See also: Meet AOL’s New Management

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