Procter and Gamble's interactive marketing chief doesn't think social networks like Facebook are advertiser-worthy.
Check out this Ad Age story with Ted McConnell's remarks (you'll find some of Ted's comments below, followed by my comments on his comments).
"I have a reaction to that (social networks' inability to monetize their sites) as a consumer advocate and an advertiser. What in heaven's name made you think you could monetize the real estate in which somebody is breaking up with their girlfriend?"
A corporate behemoth with revenue bigger than the GDP of some countries pays you big bucks to separate consumers from their money. I'm sure you want to do right by them, but do you really consider yourself a consumer advocate? And I'll take a shot at why social networks think they could monetize that real estate: because they're offering a rich experience for consumers at no charge, and to keep delivering it they need to make money. Just like the TV networks your company has paid billions to over the years.
"I think when we call it 'consumer-generated media,' we're being predatory. Who said this is media? Media is something you can buy and sell. Media contains inventory. Media contains blank spaces. Consumers weren't trying to generate media. They were trying to talk to somebody ..."
Ted, if I found a way to put the Preparation H logo on your Charmin toilet paper (Hey, there's an idea!), it would be media. Consider Facebook ads: It's media that's bought and sold, and they have inventory. And why should we even debate whether Facebook is appropriate and viable for advertisers? Shouldn't they just test it and let consumers vote with their dollars?
"So the targeting is fanstastic. You can really do amazing things. But I'm not so sure I want to be targeted like that ... I don't think everything every consumer says to someone else and writes down is somehow monetizable by the media industry."
OK, but since you also alluded to the shortcomings of "spray and pray" advertising (something your employer's done a bit of in the past), why not embrace permission-based advertising that respects consumers' privacy limits while cutting waste by being more relevant?
What do Freaking Marketing readers think?