Integrated campaigns are the way forward

I was confused by Jo-Anne Flack’s Special Report (MW March 9), which stated “brands like… AOL… have spent little money on above the line”. On the contrary, AOL has a creditable record in above-the-line spend and, in the past three months, we have committed &£15m to our /discuss platform across TV, outdoor, print, cinema, online – and PR.

The success of Arctic Monkeys illustrates the new era of individual empowerment by the internet – the power of people to choose what they consume, rather than just passively absorbing messages pushed through traditional media.

The true value of this integration is in both sides of the line working harder together to create a platform for consumer engagement that ensures longer residual brand benefits than just shouting at consumers with a loud budget. While PR is an

integral part of this approach, the role played by above-the-line media spend is crucial in terms of bringing an issue and/or a platform to the fore – it is the surest way to cut through the various other buzzes Flack refers to.

I believe AOL’s integrated campaign approach is the way forward and we continue to spend above the line as part of that – but in a way that is a lot more integrated with other media than the ways most brands, including ours, have used in the past. Engagement is the future, while interuption is the past – but above-the-line media still has a fundamental role to play in this engaged future. Discuss.

Timothy Ryan

Director of brand marketing


London W14 include your home/business address

Latest from Marketing Week

Influencers, consultancies and the recruitment crisis: The key topics of conversation at Cannes Lions

cannes lions

Cannes Lions 2018: Marketers turned out in force to advertising’s biggest annual event. But away from the usual talk of purpose and creativity, some big issues such as the recruitment crisis, how advertising responds to the #MeToo movement and cleaning up the influencer marketing space were discussed.


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here