Procter & Gamble has run into a roadblock in trying to sell sites on running interstitial Web ads, the closest online relative to TV commercials.
After shopping around interstitials, which briefly monopolize computer monitors while content downloads, P&G has finally convinced some college-oriented sites to run the ads, which will be the maiden Internet effort for Scope Mouthwash. However, the girth of the ads, both in terms of their dimensions on computer monitors and file size, has caused the Cincinnati package goods company to meet with resistance from online publishers and ad buyers, sources said.
The Scope situation follows a pattern that began this spring. Since that time, P&G has been aggressively pushing interstitials rather than banners to give its brands, especially those that don’t have a Web site such as Pepto-Bismol, a more prominent online spotlight. The move has met with criticism from at least three media companies with a large online presence, all of which wished to remain anonymous. Their gripe is that the ad units are too intrusive, often concealing editorial content, sources said.
The Scope effort, dubbed “Only Scope Can Get You Kissably Close Online,” is a variation of an ongoing traditional campaign. Interstitials that are slated to appear during the month of November on college networks like Student Advantage and Cliq College enable users to register and send a friend a kiss on 10 occasions such as a birthday or as a thank you. Another feature, “Best Places to Get Close,” has links to a listing of top romantic getaways on CondeNet’s Epicurious Travel.
Sources estimate that the initial buy for the Scope effort on college sites is approximately $100,000. Media.com, an Internet ad buying unit of Grey Advertising, handles P&G’s online buys. Media.com officials did not comment.
A P&G representative said the company plans to build a Scope Web site but did not respond to other questions by press time.
Other P&G brands that have been promoted online include Clearasil acne medication, Cover Girl cosmetics, Pampers, Tide, Old Spice, Sunny Delight and Vidal Sassoon.