Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

NBC Teams Up With Company That Does Animal Testing for Pet Social Network

Ah the perfect marriage of advertiser and corporate news. Or is it? Procter and Gamble Says that they do animal testing as a "last resort"but still, you have to wonder about their motives are in this. Other then gobbling up all your cash, that is. The new website is called Petside and is run by NBC.

According to Mashable (with a h/t to Webb Alert):

Petside is a new social network for pets and the owners that love them. It’s being launched in conjunction with NBC Universal and Proctor and Gamble. The umbrella company that lords over countless consumer products sees this as a potential outlet for advertising Iams pet food. That sorta makes sense, but was it necessary for Proctor and Gamble?

Potential Market Research = Targeted Ads

Depending on the amount of research it can gather from the site, the level of user engagement and customization for site content, and its user interaction, I can see the potential for creating such a site. Instead of launching its own, it’s gone through an established media company for this very purpose.

P&G does have some sort of a relationship with the Humane Society. According to the P&G website:

The Humane Society of the United States and P&G have established a strategic partnership committed to the elimination of animal use for consumer product safety evaluation that at the same time ensures marketed products continue to be safe for both the consumer and the environment. Both organizations have a long history of commitment to alternatives development and we believe that by working together we can enhance the likelihood of achieving our common objective of making animal testing for consumer products unnecessary.

Others, however, are not so impressed. According to Uncaged in the UK:

P&G admit that guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, ferrets, rats and mice are among the animals used in their ‘product safety research’, as well as cats and dogs in pet food experiments. Uncaged’s investigations continue to reveal disturbing examples of P&G’s ongoing involvement in painful and lethal animal tests.

Procter & Gamble exist for one reason, and one reason only - to make as much money as possible. P&G test on animals because of their desire to get new chemical ingredients on to the market. This allows them to claim that their new hair dye, skin cream or washing powder etc. is ‘new, improved’, in the hope of increasing sales. But with many companies producing similar consumer products without carrying out animal tests, it shows that P&G’s cruelty is motivated by greed.

Obviously, P&G realise that their behaviour appals most people. Sadly, instead of reforming, P&G invest enormous amounts in PR and spin that aims to give a rosy impression of their testing practices. P&G have even been lobbying governments to try to block bans on animal testing for cosmetics that have public support. Now, Uncaged’s investigations have uncovered P&G’s outrageous plans to carry out massive animal testing programmes for new cosmetics and household product ingredients.

So, don't expect to many stories on animal testing in their news section. Or much of anything controversial for that matter.

If you want a good pet site, go to Itchmo. They are a for-profit site too, but are an independent voice. And, they have lots of good articles, cute pictures of pets, and a very active community of people posting comments. And best of all, they are based in the Northwest which makes them ultra-cool in a Nirvana-grunge-REI-latte-sniffing sort of way.

Photo by Arimoore.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah when I saw this site I knew right away it was bogus. I mean, it's no different than any other pet site except there's ads ALL OVER it.

I found a different site that's pretty cool though - and somehow, no ads.

They have product reviews and this shelter makeover $1M giveaway to shelters.

Oh, and they have a pretty good news section, too.

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