Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

The NCAA Blows the Whistle on Twitter’s “March Tweetness”

marchtweetnessLast week, AT&T and Federated Media debuted “March Tweetness,” a Twitter-endorsed page geared around the March Madness college basketball tournament. It was Twitter’s second attempt at what amounted to an advertising play, and I thought it looked modestly promising.

And now it’s gone. At least temporarily.

Federated has taken down the site at the request of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and has put up a placeholder search page in its place. The problem? The college sports group, which keeps a tight grip on any and all trademarks related to its teams, games and tournaments, says the site infringed on its copyrights.

You’d think that might have crossed the minds of Twitter, Federated or at least the folks at AT&T (T), who already work with the NCAA. But no matter. Federated spokesguy Matthew DiPietro says the site will be back up with a new look, a lack of copyright violations and a different URL in time for the tournaments Final Four games this weekend.

Does this derail the great Twitter advertising strategy? Nope. But it does illustrate just how new and unformed this stuff is, both for Twitter and its ad partners. Which DiPietro is happy to admit. “These are first-of-their-kind executions,” he told me. “They’re very experimental… things will get worked out.”

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