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Procter & Gamble grabs Net teenagers for life

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Procter and Gamble is setting up a site for acne sufferers in partnership with Excite UK. Actually, it's a "£Multi-Million Teenage Destination site", and the whole "ground-breaking" enterprise reeks of marketing bull. The unnamed site launches later this year and is part of P&G's "continuing efforts to develop innovative and integrated marketing solutions".

The "new internet presence" enables P&G "to build ongoing relationships with this important consumer group". "Through a combination of dynamic elements, including community, chat and interactivity, the site will enhance the internet experience for teenagers." "This site is a great opportunity for P&G to further increase the relevance of our brands to the teenage audience.

The internet gives us a unique platform to leverage the scale of our portfolio to better meet the needs of specific target groups," comments James Eadie, P&G Brand Manager for Interactive Marketing Europe.

Note To Editors: About Procter & Gamble P&G markets approximately 300 brands to nearly 5 billion consumers in over 140 countries. With over 38 billion sales in 1998-99, P&G is the world's largest advertiser, with leading brands including Clearasil, Max Factor, Secret, Pantene, Tampax, Always, Sunny Delight and Pringles."

The problem with Internet content businesses built on demographics, research and business plans, is that they're rarely any good. Will PGTeen, or whatever the site is called, be any different? Teenagers are suckers for brands, but they can, we trust, also see through unadulterated adult attempts to turn them into dutiful consumers. We guess the site will run under the Excite brand, with all sales, sponsorship and marketing slots taken up by P&G. That way, the ground-breaking partners can gloss over the sheer awfulness of this undertaking. ®

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