AOL Europe appoints Hearst’s Downing as director of media

AOL has appointed former Heast Digital digital services and development director Julian Downing as director of media for AOL Europe.

He will head AOL’s content strategy across the continent as the company looks to boost its perception among audiences and advertisers.

At Hearst Digital, Downing helped launch The National Magazine Company’s digital arm. He has also worked at Redwood, The Mirror Group and News International.

He’s the latest in a line of high-profile appointments by AOL. In February Downing’s line manager David Shing was promoted from AOL European marketing director to head of media and marketing ( 17 February 2010), while last month Kelly Sweeney was made AOL Europe’s first of director of video, having previously been head of original content at Bebo ( 10 March 2010).

Shing said, “We’re focused on developing differentiated interactive and original content, and Julian will play a key role in delivering AOL users a relevant and exciting offering.”

Last month AOL European head Kate Burns said the company is focusing on new ad opportunities and localisation in 2010 to boost faith in it as an ad platform, following its poor performance in last week’s IPA media owners survey (nma 15 April 2010).

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