AOL Goes After Campaign Cash for Midterm Elections

Company launches advertising politics hub aimed at political marketers

There are plenty of major media companies ramping up online political coverage ahead of November’s midterm elections.

The New York Times recently struck a deal to host Nate Silver’s polling-focused FiveThirtyEight.com blog, and Arianna Huffington acquired Pollster.com, a site that tracks and analyzes political poll results and polling methods.

AOL is stepping up its politico game, too – on the advertising side.

The company announced on Thursday the launch of a political advertising hub aimed at capturing a chunk of the campaign cash spent thrown around by political marketers.

The so-called AOL Advertising Politics Hub is part of Ad Desk, AOL’s display advertising platform. AOL is positioning the hub as a sort-of turn-key solution for campaigns. Jeff Levick, president of AOL’s global advertising and strategy, said the goal is to make “the on-boarding process something that is simple, easy and intuitive.”

AOL points to 2009 Scott Brown campaign in Massachusetts as evidence of the impact online spending can have on a race, and expects more campaigns to shift their spending to the Web.

The company has also beefed up staffing for project. AOL Advertising’s “Political and Issue Advocacy Team” now has seven dedicated staffers, including Rena Shapiro, who created Google’s political ad team in 2007.