AOL Parcels Out Two Assignments

NEW YORK As AOL Time Warner’s AOL division continues hearing pitches for its branding account, the Dulles, Va.-based online unit has awarded two ongoing product assignments to BBDO and Crispin Porter + Bogusky, both on the list of six finalists in the brand review.

Len Short, evp of brand marketing at AOL, said that BBDO has been given an ongoing $30 million to $50 million assignment to produce promotional assignments for AOL, as the company works to tie itself to big-ticket events. The Omnicom Group shop, which is both AOR for sister unit HBO and produced Super Bowl and NASCAR spots for AOL, will next work on AOL’s presence on March’s Academy Awards broadcast. According to Short, AOL has purchased two 30-second units during the awards show, and two during the preceding Barbara Walters’ special.

Crispin will now handle the AOL Moviefone assignment, which had been handled by AOL incumbent Gotham. Short stressed that neither assignment gives the two agencies an upper hand in the $150 million brand pitch. “It really means nothing about the overall review,” he said.

Though Short worked with BBDO at his previous marketing post at Charles Schwab & Co., he also worked with a number of other agencies there, including GSD&M and The Martin Agency.

Meanwhile, AOL will be holding a series of 90-mnute videoconferences with the brand review’s finalists — which also include DDB, Hill Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Wieden & Kennedy and Saatchi & Saatchi — next week.