AOL goes for broke in Seattle

AOL carpet bombs Seattle.

Tech Culture

America Online is planning to blanket Seattle with promotions peddling its broadband service next week. Thanks to the online giant, commuters will get free ferry tickets and AOL will carpet-bomb public concerts and events with promotions.

This is part of the company's attempt to sell AOL for Broadband as a way to stop its blood loss from dial-up consumers defecting to faster access. AOL hopes that selling a $14.95 version will be enough an incentive to keep its subscribers.

AOL's promotional push has been somewhat schizophrenic. AOL used the Super Bowl and its ill-fated half-time show to promote its dial-up service. Most TV commercials continue to show its yellow running man as an icon for its dial-up accelerator.

All this for a business that has watched more than 3 million of its customers leave? AOL claims many of them left for AOL for Broadband. But why even bother spending millions advertising dial-up when more studies show more Americans using broadband than dial-up.

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