MySpace has grown to 60 million members, and now accounts for around 12.5 percent of all online display ads.
But major brand marketers continue to shun the site.
Reasons for avoiding MySpace include concern about its potential for criminal use, especially given recent well-publicized reports about sexual predators searching for victims on the site, as well as fears that user-generated content–including pictures and text with sexual overtones–will be offensive.
“I wouldn’t be caught dead in that kind of environment,” said David Cohen, executive vice president for Universal McCann Interactive, with a client roster including Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Wendy’s International, and Sony Electronics. “You only have to look around for five or 10 minutes to find something offensive.”
Dawn Hudson, president and CEO of Pepsi-Cola North America, echoed this sentiment, saying she was “interested” in sites like MySpace that feature user-generated content, but “we’re being cautious because there’s a blurring between advertising and content, and the content does rub off on your brand.”