AOL Cuts 15% of Online Marketing Staff

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America Online cut 90 jobs from its interactive marketing group yesterday, according to wire reports. The job cuts came a day after the company named former USA Networks executive Lisa Brown to the new post of executive vice president of interactive marketing.


The staff reduction, which amounts to 15 percent, is the second round at the unit this year. In May, 120 jobs were eliminated in the interactive marketing group, which sells online ads to other companies.


Brown has been tapped to develop new forms of marketing and sponsorships and to embed e-commerce into the services. She reports to Bob Sherman, president of AOL interactive marketing.


AOL is expected to announce a strategic shift in operations to the AOL Time Warner board of directors tomorrow that includes less focus on advertising and more emphasis on programming and new interactive services. It will be unveiled to the public Dec. 3.


Also this week, AOL said that it has banned teen-agers from its shopping areas, after criticism that it was allowing young people to buy pornography, alcohol and tobacco from partner sites.


Customers younger than 18 cannot shop on AOL with partner stores, including auctioneer eBay and retailer Amazon.com, AOL spokesman Nicholas Graham said. Previously, children ages 13 to 17 who signed on with a parentally controlled screen name could buy products and services with a credit card at AOL partner stores.


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