Swizzle.co.uk, the Procter & Gamble-backed portal aimed at teenage girls, has withdrawn its chatroom and bulletin board facilities after ending its partnership with US-based Excite@home.
According to one industry source, the joint venture between Excite and P&G ended in September, following a dispute over the regulation of content in the chatrooms. P&G refused to comment on the claim. Excite was unavailable for comment. The closure of the chatroom facility comes just seven months after swizzle.co.uk’s launch.
A P&G spokeswoman says: “We do not wish to discuss the relationship between ourselves and Excite.”
The household goods giant, which has taken complete control of the site, is now looking for a new partner. A notice on the site says: “You’ve probably noticed the site is undergoing some changes – we’ve temporarily had to drop chat and billboards.”
Aimed at 13to 17-year-old girls, the site continues to provide features such as “Landing the boy of your dreams” and “Countdown to the big date”, as well as “Send him a virtual snog”.
P&G’s spokeswoman says: “After working with Excite on the development of Swizzle, the contract between P&G and Excite has come to an end. The community parts of the site were an area of expertise which Excite brought to the site during the launch phase. Because the ownership of the site will now rest predominantly with P&G, a decision was made to close the chat and bulletin boards.”
Last week, children’s charity NCH and Internet safety group Childnet International condemned Mykindaplace.com, the BSkyB and Freeserve-backed teenage girls’ portal, for its ad campaign to attract teenage boys to the site’s chatrooms (MW November 16).