AO.com ditches TV to plough budget into social media

aocomElectrical retailer AO.com is pulling out of TV advertising this year to plough its spend into digital and social media channels and has revealed plans to hire up to 100 tech experts to keep it ahead of the curve.
The company has operated in the UK since 2000 and has recently expanded into Germany and the Netherlands. It has worked with Karmarama since 2015, although it is not known how the decision to cancel its TV activity will affect this relationship.
AO founder and chief executive John Rogers confirmed the move at Retail Week Live. He said: “We’ve made the decision for the year ahead to cancel all TV advertising. As we do more and more analysis of it, we can see the return on investment is higher when telling stories.
“If your business doesn’t provide an amazing service, then social media isn’t for you – but we empower our teams to use social media and some of the programmes we’ve done have been phenomenally successful.
“It’s not about selling stuff, it’s about engaging in interesting conversations – give something fun and useful first and then, as an output of that, you get a transaction. TV advertising shouts at people. It won’t work. Social media is a completely different discipline.”
When quizzed on AO’s recent announcement to hire 50 new tech experts, Rogers replied: “We actually agreed at our board meeting yesterday to double that. I’ve never seen the demand on IT as a graph go down. So, given how ambitious we are a business in our eco-system, it’s something we need to invest in ahead of the curve. All roads lead to tech, so we should be investing in it with every pound we have, and one more.”

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