Branded-Content Growing Pains: The Onion Goes 'Back to Basics,' Restructures Onion Labs
Being funny is serious business. The Onion has come a long way from its roots as a traditional publishing company. In recent years, it has phased out print to focus on digital and had built a video studio and in-house agency, Onion Labs, to create ads for brands including Dove, MTV and Orbitz in its signature parody style.
But in a memo to staff last week, CEO Mike McAvoy said that while the Chicago-based company has grown its revenue, it hasn’t been able to keep pace with its goals. The Onion has been exploring a possible sale for the past year, and in the recent memo, McAvoy said it’s still looking for an investor that can “help invest in our long-term success.” McAvoy also announced a restructuring of Onion Labs along with a series of management changes.