AT&T (T +0.2%) says it's "refocusing" its AdWorks unit, which provides an ad network stretching across online, mobile, and IPTV distribution channels, on the carrier's own properties (e.g. U-verse, ATT.net), and "moving away" from ad sales on non-AT&T properties. Layoffs have been confirmed.
BI's sources suggest AT&T "appears to be closing most if not all of its AdWorks offices," and that "many if not most" of the unit's NYC staff has been laid off. The LA and Chicago offices are also reportedly seeing layoffs.
AT&T once envisioned AdWorks growing into a giant multi-screen targeted ad platform that could leverage AT&T's massive customer base and the data the company has amassed on it. But the unit also faced competition from Google and a slew of other digital ad providers. It's far from the first tech initiative from a telco that didn't live up to expectations.