Verizon Kills Oath Brand After It Fails to Enliven Yahoo and AOL

(Bloomberg) -- Verizon Communications Inc. is officially killing the Oath brand, a name that it hoped would give fresh life to a collection of aging dot-com businesses that includes AOL and Yahoo.

The former Oath division will now be known as the Verizon Media Group, the company said in a blog post on Tuesday. The new name will take effect Jan. 8.

From its inception last year, the Oath name was disparaged on social media: Critics lumped it together with Tronc, another failed corporate rebranding. Verizon’s own TechCrunch site responded to the Oath brand by tweeting, “Oof.”

The move to abandon Oath was widely expected after a shake-up in November. At the time, the telecom giant shunted Oath to the end of the division’s name, calling it “Verizon Media Group/Oath.” Verizon shoveled more dirt on the Oath concept this month, when it wrote down the business by $4.6 billion. That erased almost half the value of the entity, which sells online advertising and houses sites like the Huffington Post.

The task of reinvigorating Verizon Media Group falls to Guru Gowrappan, who inherited the role from AOL veteran Tim Armstrong. The business is working on “engaging ad formats” and other concepts like more personalized publishing.

“I look forward to 2019 and what we will accomplish together as Verizon Media Group,” Gowrappan said.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.