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Advertiser Pulls MySpace Ad, Citing PornBy: Michael Hayes (Courtesy of XBIZ.com)
Santa Monica, Calif. — Advertisers on the social networking MySpace.com — now a News Corp. property — have objected to their ads appearing on pages belonging to porn stars such as Jenna Jameson and Tera Patrick.
Citing concerns over adult content found on the pages of MySpace, Weight Watchers informed the company that it had decided to pull its ads from the site.
"Our rep has issued an immediate order to pull our ads from MySpace," Weight Watchers spokeswoman Grace Arnold said. "We’ll be reevaluating that buy."
Meanwhile, cellphone carrier T-Mobile told MySpace that it would need to work with the site to “rectify” the problem.
At the crux of the problem are pages belonging to stars such as Jenna Jameson and Tera Patrick. Ads for Weight Watchers and T Mobile appeared on Patrick’s and Jameson’s pages, respectively. The ads no longer appear on either page.
As XBIZ reported in February, MySpace has become a popular networking tool for porn stars to connect with and build their fan bases. Jameson’s page lists more than 400,000 “friends,” while Patrick has more than 56,000.
While porn stars see the value of the site’s grass roots traffic, so do advertisers. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, MySpace totals $156 million in yearly ad revenue.
For companies like Weight Watchers, ads on MySpace are part of a multisite buy. But the company stresses that sites running their ads must adhere to the terms and conditions laid out by Weight Watchers.
"There are networks that collect unused advertising space," Arnold said. "A company has an option to buy through these networks. You don’t actually see the site list when you buy on one. They’re supposed to abide by the language in our purchase agreement, which says we’re not supposed to be on user-generated sites. We didn’t honestly know that our ad was being run on that page in MySpace."
Although Jameson’s and Patrick’s pages promote them as porn stars, they do comply with MySpace’s own terms of service, which prohibit adult content.