P&G Blocks Pandora and Netflix

P&GBandwidth hogs Pandora and Netflix have been taking up too much time and space, causing P&G to block employees' access to these sites. According to an internal memo, the strain on P&G's network was great, "requiring immediate intervention."  The memo also warned that blocking these two sites is a "first step" to addressing employees' personal use of the Internet on company time. 

Recent studies show how much prospective employees, particularly college students, value access to social media. At the same time, 19% of companies (according to a September 2011 survey) block some social media sites. Many have taken more drastic positions than P&G has: Cintas, for example, with 30,000 employees, blocks Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

From a communication perspective, some of the language is jargony and could be improved:

  • "It's a worldwide phenomenon. As P&G drives toward end-to-end digitization of our business, ensuring bandwidth capacity within our networks is a high priority." (from P&G spokesperson Paul Fox)
  • "These statistics indicate that access to non-business-critical Internet sites goes far beyond the business need." (from the internal memo)
  • "We're asking all employees to leverage company resources with an ownership mentality." (also from the internal memo)

Discussion Starter and Assignment Idea: 

  • Do you believe that P&G is justified in its decision to block these sites? Why or why not? What about companies, such as GE Aviation (also a Cincinnati-based company), that also block YouTube and Facebook? 
  • Practice your revising skills by rewriting the three P&G quotes above.