MySpace urges PROs to use site as 'focus group'

MySpace this week called for more PR professionals in the UK to exploit its soaring popularity and use the site as the 21st-century equivalent of the traditional consumer ­'focus group'.

The call, made by Jay Stevens, V-P of sales operations at the social network site, came as it launched its first UK-branded profile - for ­Unilever's male-grooming brand Lynx - last week.

Stevens, who is based in the US, told PRWeek: ‘We would definitely like more PR agencies to use the site to reach consumers.'

He added: ‘What makes MySpace compelling for PR people is its ability to assess perception of brands and to get feedback from target ­audiences. It is just like a ­focus group.'

The MySpace page for Lynx revolves around ‘Towel Boy', the character used in its current TV ads.

The move is a first for MySpace's UK arm, although its US version has already created pages for brands such as Crest toothpaste, Toyota Yaris and Honda.

‘We've six more brands in the UK already developing their pages and we are seeing a lot of appetite for it over here,' Stevens said.

MySpace is recruiting for a comms director for Europe, after launching its UK site this spring (PRWeek, 21 July). French and German sites are also up and running.

Earlier this month, Rupert Murdoch, who bought MySpace for £332m in July 2005, confirmed a Chinese version was being developed. MySpace is the most popular social networking site in the UK, despite competition from Bebo and YouTube.

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