BY LAURA RICH AND ANYA SACHAROW
Procter & Gamble's race for parents' online eyeballs is shifting into high gear. A major overhaul of a site supporting Pampers, called Pampers Parenting Institute, will go live at the end of the month and its ParentTime site, a joint venture with Time Warner Cable Programming, is undergoing changes to ramp up traffic that hovered below 1 million page views per month until recently.
Pampers Parenting Institute will relaunch with new features and content that reaches parents of infants 0 to 3 years old. The site previously focused on 12 months and under.
ParentTime launched with a similar focus, but has since expanded to cater to parents with children up to 18 years old, as part of a broader redesign of the site which launched earlier this year.
Online executives said that the effort is being funded by P&G dollars that have been redirected from ParentTime, which launched late last year. P&G and Time Warner contributed $4 million each to the venture. P&G is said to have been disappointed by ParentTime's traffic results and may be reconsidering its relationship with ParentTime. P&G executives didn't comment.
'(P&G) was a little worried' about the traffic, reported Paula McDonald, ParentTime's first director of marketing and sales. She joined the company from Softbank Interactive Marketing in March to address traffic and other marketing issues. Since then, traffic has surged to some 2 million page views per month and the company is now in talks with P&G to import content from the Pampers site for a new section on ParentTime, according to McDonald. ParentTime will also launch on the PointCast Network early next month.
Pampers Parenting Institute is being developed by Pampers agency D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and new media agency Blue Marble Advanced Communications Group. Both are MacManus Group agencies. Rare Medium is the production house on the project.
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