AOL Latin America Inks Office Depot Alliance in Mexico

Office Depot will promote America Online Latin America’s through a new joint marketing alliance.

The deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, will see AOL Mexico advertising goods and services sold by Office Depot de Mexico, the local unit of one of the world’s largest office products retailers.

In return, Delray Beach, Fl.-based Office Depot said it would promote the AOL Mexico service in each of its 60 stores in the country. One component of the effort will entail Office Deport setting up interactive, in-store demonstration kiosks.

The company also will promote the service through in-store signups and installation CDs.

“We are pleased to be working with Office Depot, a well known global brand and trusted retailer in the Mexican market,” said Eduardo Escalante, president of Mexico City-based AOL Mexico. “Through this agreement, we hope to reach out directly to a wide base of Mexican consumers and introduce them to the ease and convenience of the AOL interactive experience, which more than one million Latin American consumers have already made a part of their everyday lives.”

The deal builds on a separate, longstanding relationship between Office Depot and AOL Time Warner ‘s America Online in the U.S. (AOL Latin America is a joint venture of AOL Time Warner and the Venezuela-based Cisneros Group.)

“AOL Latin America is happy to add Office Depot to the roster of leading brand marketers that work with us to introduce our AOL-branded services to consumers across the Latin American marketplace,” said Eduardo Hauser, vice president of AOL Services at AOL Latin America.

At the same time, the move is the latest effort by AOL to expand its subscriber base in the region, as the rate of domestic user growth stagnates at home. In addition to Office Deport, AOL Latin America has agreements with retailers Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Carrefour, Bompreco and Pontofrio.

AOL Latin America also is striving to boost its revenues, as pressure mounts for its New York-based parent over its money-losing units. The company, which reports second-quarter results next month, recently reported a net loss of $70.5 million for last quarter, on $18.5 million in revenue. ISP subscriptions comprise more than 80 percent of the unit’s revenue.

Earlier this year, AOL bailed out its Latin American venture with $160 million in debt financing, less than a year after having received a total of $150 million from AOL, Cisneros and Brazil’s Banco Itau SA.

News Around the Web