P&G sends brand publishers in circles
When the big brands starting hearing about this whole internet thing, some bright spark explained that here might be a route to cut through the media and talk direct to the customer while saving vast amounts on expensive ad slots. So we saw the emergence of a series of branded consumer portals delivering news and content galore to their customers direct with the odd subtle or less subtle product plug along the way.
Annoyingly for the brands, consumers can be cynical and choosy in the competitive internet space and didn't go for the idea of their brand as their content provider and many of these sites simply ran out of budget and now live on in muted versions of the grand vision.
Interesting then that things are starting to come full circle and P&G is looking to invest further in their consumer sites after the success of their HomeMadeSimple portal with the launch of Healthexpressions.com, a healthcare portal. Also consider Coke's repeated content driven initiatives such as the move to Coke music downloads and there is food for thought for all big brands.
Certainly it's not going to start a brand content rush on the previous scale, but moving into the area of broadband and premium content is king, expect others to follow suit.