‘Purely and simply a name change’: Oath officially rebrands as Verizon Media

Verizon has officially removed the Oath brand from the Australian market, rebranding the arm as Verizon Media.

The changes come three months after Oath’s official Australian launch, which was triggered by the winding up of Yahoo7, Verizon’s joint venture with Seven.

Oath will now be known as Verizon Media

Globally, Verizon will operate across three arms, Verizon Consumer, Verizon Business and Verizon Media. The decision follows the appointment of CEO Hans Vestberg last June.

Oath was first formed by Verizon in 2017, following the $US4.8b takeover of Yahoo by Verizon. At the time, it was a combination of Yahoo and AOL’s assets.

Paul Sigaloff, Verizon’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, told Mumbrella the shift is simply a name change and business will continue as usual.

“The plan was to launch as a Verizon company globally – and obviously we did that in Q4 in Australia and New Zealand,” Sigaloff explained.

“What came to light was that Verizon sees tremendous value in Oath and Oath’s business, but the global management team made an executive call. They didn’t want Oath to be a separate brand out to the side, they actually wanted it to be a full part of the Verizon media brand. Subsequently, that has transitioned.

“It’s business as usual for the Australian and New Zealand brands. But you’ll start to see corporate assets transition to Verizon Media in the coming weeks.

“Obviously we will be dialling up Verizon Media, but only in a B2B capacity. Nothing changes from strategy or go to market. It’s purely and simply a name change.”

He disputed the idea the change was confusing for clients and agencies, noting a lot of brands and agencies were already identifying the Oath business as Verizon Media. But, he said, in any case of confusion, the team would continue to work “tirelessly” and ensure everything was clear.

But while the Oath media brand will cease to exist, Oath ad platforms will not change its name.

Outside of the brand changes, Sigaloff said his focus has turned to four areas: investing in the consumer brands, increasing branded content efforts and opportunities for Oath ad platforms – such as its new native inventory deal with Microsoft – and investing in talent, which Verizon will do through the launch of Brand Love Academy in the first quarter of this year.

Sigaloff: ‘“It’s business as usual for the Australian and New Zealand brands’

As part of an increased investment in consumer brands such as Yahoo Finance and HuffPost, the business will launch its first Finance Summit in the Australian market.

The summit, which launches on September 26, will explore challenges and changes in each respective region’s economy. The Yahoo Finance editor-in-chief, Sarah O’Carroll, will host a number of discussions relating to finance, business and the economy.

But Sigaloff said the latest global changes – a major scale back of jobs within Verizon Media – will not impact Australia or New Zealand.

Responding to the announcements of jobs cuts across digital publishing each week, Sigaloff said his business was well placed with a good strategy.

“Every single business faces headwinds. Ultimately, that is a challenge. I don’t think anyone is immune from that. Why we are well placed and we talked a lot about it in January, is that we have a huge business with a lot of amazing learnings in different markets.

“There isn’t a silver bullet for any business around those headwinds and everybody is facing them. It’s about how you as a business prepare and organise yourselves. The changes for Verizon didn’t impact Australia and New Zealand,” he said.

“We obviously built our strategy and re-structured our workforce and company into 2018. If anything we are creating new roles, we are building events and new capabilities.”


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