How P&G skips the middleman

Stephen Baker

The Wall Street Journal writes today about how P&G and other companies are setting up their own social-networking sites to reach consumers. Capessa, a P&G health features venture with Yahoo, is an example. The point of these sites is not to advertise, but to interact with consumers and learn from them. It's much like a worldwide focus group, but the analysis will be driven in many cases by mathematical rendering of the clicks and interactions on the sites.

So how does traditional ad-based media respond to this challenge? Like Yahoo, we'll have to figure out how to act as a conduit between advertisers, or sponsors, and their customers. They want more data. And if they don't get it from media, it's now clear, they'll strike out on their own.