P&G bars office access to Pandora, Netflix

Procter and Gamble has banned all employees from using Pandora or Netflix at work. The company says that employees on those sites increasingly are sucking up bandwidth needed for "business-critical" stuff. Here, an office space in China.

Stacey Vanek Smith: Surf's down at Procter & Gamble. The consumer goods giant is cracking down on web-surfing at work. P&G is now blocking Pandora and Netflix on company computers. It said those sites were sucking up precious bandwidth needed for business.

Sarah Gardner reports.

Sarah Gardner: P&G discovered employees were hogging a quarter of the company's bandwidth for videos, music and photos from social media and entertainment sites. But it ended up banning just two: Pandora and Netflix.

P&G's Paul Fox says that's because they weren't "business-critical."

Paul Fox: Things like Facebook and Twitter and YouTube are parts of our business and we use them all the time for brand-building and talking to our consumers.

It's true. Even Pampers has its own Facebook page. P&G isn't the first company to block websites, of course. Many still ban Facebook, but Rebecca Wettemann at Nucleus Research says she sees that less and less.

Rebecca Wettemann: And what we're seeing is more companies having a more flexible policy in understanding the distinction between different sites and different job roles.

In other words, the marketing department gets Facebook and Twitter, accounting doesn't. Still, unless you're a movie critic, you may have a hard time justifying Netflix.

I'm Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

About the author

Sarah Gardner is a reporter with the Marketplace Sustainability Desk.


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