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P&G bars office access to Pandora, Netflix

Sarah Gardner Apr 4, 2012

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.

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