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AOL - the Internet division of AOL Time Warner - has asked its parent company to ditch its name from the corporation's title.

In a memo to employees yesterday, AOL boss Jon Miller said that "AOL's brand would benefit from being removed from the corporate name".

The matter is currently up for discussion although there's no indication as yet when such a move might be implemented. He also insisted that he asked for the change off his own back and that it was not a response to pressure from the AOL TW.

Miller argues that since the merger in early 2001, "the three letters AOL have ceased to stand for the Internet and the promise it entails, and instead have become the shorthand for the world's largest media company".

He believes the use of "AOL" as shorthand for AOL TW and its Internet division is confusing and that "any controversy or criticism involving the corporate entity has actually hit our consumer brand".

"I believe it's time for us to get our brand back," said Miller before adding that such a move would give the media "yet another opportunity to write negatively about the merger of AOL and Time Warner". Whatever can he mean? ®

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