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W&K resigns AOL US account over creative differences

NEW YORK - Wieden & Kennedy has said that it has resigned the America Online account after just over a year because of creative differences.

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AOL has said that its other retained agency, BBDO New York, would now be the sole creative shop on the account. BBDO is owned by Omnicom Group.

AOL, which is the internet division of Time Warner, appointed Wieden & Kennedy to handle its corporate branding business and BBDO New York to its product and service account in June last year.

When Wieden & Kennedy was hired, the business was estimated to be worth $100m, but it is being estimated now that the business is worth perhaps half of that, at around $50m or less.

Wieden has worked with AOL since 1997 when it created its first Super Bowl ad. When it was hired, it was tasked with revitalising AOL's brand, which has been hurt by a government probe and declining subscribers and advertisers.

America Online has been struggling with declining subscriber numbers and has also been questioned over the way it reported some of its advertising revenues. Its subscriber numbers fell from 26.2m in March 2003 to 24m in March 2004.

AOL's corporate advertising account was handled by the New York agency Gotham for eight years, until AOL called announced the review at the beginning of last year.

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