Open For Business

According to The New York Times, brands are moving boldly into the media business, and are even willing to accept advertising on their content rich sites from competitive products.

NBC Universal and Procter & Gamble have set up a pet-focussed Web portal that looks something like a Yahoo or AOL for pet owners, with a bit of Facebook and MySpace thrown in.
The companies plan to share the advertising revenue. Procter & Gamble is planning to market its Iams pet food and Febreze air freshener there, and NBC Universal, a unit of General Electric, is promoting some of its programs. Petside will also be linked to a pet-specific site in NBC’s iVillage site and promoted weekly on the “Today” show.
But Petside will be open to any advertiser, including companies with products that compete with Procter.
“Keeping it narrowly defined as a Procter thing would not let it acknowledge its potential,” said Jim Stengel, the global marketing officer of Procter & Gamble. “It can make a bigger splash and a bigger difference if it’s bigger and if it’s more inclusive.”

Bravo P&G. Way to reject the concept of walled gardens and accept the “click here, click there” nature of interweb for what it is. It’s imperative that marketers play by the interweb’s rules, and walk away from outdated concepts of control, fashioned for another time and media. Yet, very few are willing to do so.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.