But that may be about to change, advertising executives say, as marketers wake up to the popularity of user-generated content and social networking and acknowledge that on the Internet, controlling the message is often no longer possible anyway.
Several of the largest ad companies have recently moved into the chaotic world of social networking and user-generated content. WPP Group created a joint venture with LiveWorld, an online marketing agency, to develop social networking opportunities for clients. Interpublic Group, meanwhile, created a partnership with Facebook, a networking site for students. Last week, Denuo [a unit of Publicis that specializes in new technology] created a partnership with ViTrue, an Atlanta-based start-up that bills itself as the “world’s first user-created advertising platform.”