MEDIA POST -- Aug 15 -- As thefacebook, a social networking service for college students, prepares to expand to 1,400 U.S. four-year colleges next month, the company is also preparing to broaden a program that allows advertisers to create sponsored groups for discussions centered around products. The initiative started quietly several months ago with MasterCard as the first sponsor. Since then, other sponsors have included Apple, Victoria's Secret, and Electronic Arts. John Verner, a senior media planner with Freestyle Interactive, Electronic Arts' agency for the campaign, said the boards for EA's sports titles draw tens of thousands and "gives them a forum to just trash talk, and sound off about what they like or hate about the game. It takes on its own life without us having put a lot of time into managing it."
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