uTube.com and the Price of Brand Integrity

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When I first wrote about uTube.com and how they were leveraging the popularity of YouTube to make money, I wasn’t aware how much money was involved. Now that we have estimates to how much money uTube.com is making from these tactics, we know how much their brand integrity is worth.
For those that need a little back ground information, towards the end of last year (around the time Google acquired YouTube), uTube.com saw its traffic rise from around 1,500 to 2 million visitors per month as visitors looking you YouTube found the Ohio-based company’s website instead. As a result, the company decided to capitalize on the sudden and unexpected rise in traffic by monetizing their site with a spammy ring-tone search engine and advertisements. Have a look:
Let’s have a look at how the company describes itself:

Since 1985 Universal Tube & Rollform has been committed to being the number one supplier of used Tube, Pipe and Rollform Machinery in the world. Our presence in this industry has always been strong and honorable, working with companies locally and all over the world.

Now if you go back and take another look at what they are advertising at the very top of their site, you’ll be surprised to see the following: Dating, Poker, Personals, Gambling, Black Jack, Casino Games, Slot Machines, and many others. Doesn’t really look like a list any respectable (honorable) company would want to go with to me.
According to statistics published by Red Herring, uTube is making upwards of $1,000 per day, i.e. $360,000 per year from the links and the search engine. Do you think a company with a strong and honorable presence, and one that is striving to be the number one in its industry should should sacrifice the integrity of its brand by resorting to such tactics for $360,000?

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  • http://www.virtualmarketingblog.com/ Dave

    I really think a respectable company like utube should NOT have that on their website. Kind of disappoints me actually.

  • http://www.hiphop-blogs.com Hashim

    What are they to do? The extra traffic was costing them money. They didn’t ask for YouTube to become so big.

  • http://blog.auinteractive.com markus941

    Isn’t their case against YouTube still open? Youtube should countersue them because of this – they are clearly whoring out their site for cheap ads and profiting from this, which I think kills their case.

  • http://megabluewave.com/blog Marek

    You did it again! Nice article. Well done explaining brand integrity with a real example. I am forwarding this article to my bosses to show how important brand is.

  • http://www.twitbin.com Brian Breslin

    well there are a number of ways they could have resolved this.
    one would have been to find something more relevant to video searches, slightly less spammy.
    they should also be making more than a grand a day off of 2 million hits a month. but more importantly they should do more to separate the utube company from the spam search up top. maybe break the colors, or something. not make it so seamless.

  • http://www.azam.info/ Azam Agency

    Great blog, but I don’t think anybody else would act differently. Most people in this world would do a lot more for a lot less money than $360,000.

  • Markus

    Great idea! I hope something similiar happends to my brand soon!

  • http://jasonaclark.com Jason A Clark

    I suppose their motives could be better determined by knowing how important an extra $360,000 is to their company. Maybe that’s a huge chunk of change and it isn’t hurting their other sales? If they can maintain their usual business and still pick up an extra $360,000 a year it might be worth it.