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Coca-Cola has moved further into the realm of mobile marketing with the launch of a social networking site for young cellphone users.
Dubbed Sprite Yard, the site will allow members to create profiles, upload pictures and meet friends, and will initially target China and the US.
The company said it may launch similar services for its other brands, as well as setting up desktop internet sites.
Mark Greatrex, senior vice president of marketing for Coca-Cola, said:
"The Coca-Cola Company needs to continue to recruit future generations of consumers. Mobile marketing is absolutely where it's at for us going forward."
The move follows a recent deal between Coke and mobile advertising exchange AdMob to deliver user-generated video ads to consumers' handheld devices.
But not everyone is convinced. Chad Stoller, executive director of emerging platforms for Organic, told The New York Times:
"Nobody wants to go hang out with Sprite. It takes a lot for a brand to ask that of a customer. You really have to be getting something compelling in return."
Coke didn’t say how much the venture would cost.