Thursday, May 29, 2008

Webkinz re-introducing banner ads

Parents, lock up your (kids) privacy - Webkinz is reintroducing banner ads back into their site. If you recall back in December, the kids plush-toy-based-social network tried pushing banners for Jerry Seinfeld's Bee Movie and saw considerable backlash from parents. What's different this time? Akin to Facebook's privacy settings, Webkinz has added/changed the "My Pets" tab to "Me & My Pets", which now contains a section where you can temporarily opt out of having banners displayed. A security question is required, as shown here:



I mentioned above that the opt out is temporary and expires after 30 days. This may or may not have been a part of the recently updated Webkinz privacy policy, which reads about 20,000 words long. It's a slippery slope for Ganz, who's already makes between $12-20 on every plush toy bought, to start having it both ways. There are already sites out there, like NeoPets, with a similar online ad and retail revenue model.

The question for parents is: Will the addition of ads affect your or your child's online habits? Is there another web property without ads, like Disney's Club Penguin, that you'll consider switching over to?

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