AOL partners with Marlo Thomas

Thesp to offer daily vid messages, more

When AOL CEO Tim Armstrong thought about trying to bolster a dialogue with women online, who did he consider to lead that conversation? That Girl.

Yes, that That Girl. On Wednesday as part of its strategy to become the creator of original digital content, AOL will announce it is partnering with actress and author Marlo Thomas through marlothomas.com. Thomas will offer daily video messages, engage in online chats with women and offer tips, jokes and a scapbook of her life.

“If I am feeling it, then everybody else must be feeling it, too, when it comes to topics that impact women,” she said.

Thomas, who admits to being a Luddite until recently, said she will be doing blog posts, offering an online newsletter and creating Facebook and Twitter pages.

AOL is a longtime supporter of the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, created by Thomas’ father, Danny.

Armstrong said her long involvement with women’s issues was a good fit for AOL. “Brands and deep content is where the Internet is heading,” he said. “And nobody has a deeper connection than Marlo in this space.” AOL is selling ads for the site and promoting it across its other online properties.

This is the second deal that Armstrong has struck with a celebrity woman in recent weeks. Earlier in September, AOL announced a partnership with Ellen DeGeneres to host her talk show’s website. Armstrong said these were the first of many content partnerships in all areas, beyond the women’s category, that will be announced in the coming months.

Since being spun off from Time Warner last December, AOL has been a work in progress as Armstrong has sold and acquired businesses to achieve his goal of creating a content-focused company. Its stock is trading at roughly the same price — $23 — as its IPO close on Dec. 10.