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Advertiser’s Attempt To Become Network Has Bumpy Beginning

I wrote a column recently about some interesting marketing moves from Anheuser Busch that, among other things, dealt with, the company’s $30 million bid to program its own Web video destination. (That $30 million is’s annual cost, by the way.)

In said column I made a fuss about how that $30 million in the context of Anheuser Busch’s overall ad budget, and even TV budget, is relatively small beer, seeing that on 2006 the company spent something almost $400 million on television ads alone, according to market researcher TNS Media Intelligence. But, still, credit where credit is due, etc: is legitimately a bold and gutsy move.

The viewers, though, aren’t exactly flocking to yet.

The company’s said it wants to get 2 million to 3 million monthly visitors each month by year end. Total visitors in February, according to a Reuters story citing comscore data: 253,000.

Part of the problem, judging from what A-B’s VP for global media and sports marketing Tony Ponturo told me, is that only 10% of visitors to’s front page actually end up registering and entering the site. (Underage drinking concerns led to set up a fairly stringent registration process.)

Possible future problem: there’s 23 state attorneys general who want said registation process to be even more stringent.

Ponturo, for what it’s worth, says his company’s still sticking to its yearend projections.

Me, I’ve always been a bit dubious about whether new walled-off sites can draw massive traffic.

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