This story was updated at 1:22 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 13, 2011, to reflect that as of today the Trojan advertisement has been removed.
In recent months, Live Nation has identified boosting its e-commerce efforts as one of the company’s main goals in 2011 and beyond, and a new online advertisement that appears on its Web site shows the company is willing to go to provocative means to fulfill that charge.
For over a day as of May 12, visitors to Livenation.com have been greeted by a wrap-around advertisement for Trojan brand “Ecstasy Fire & Ice” condoms, the first time in recent memory that the company has turned to a sex-related advertiser on its Web site.
While the ad is prominently displayed on the site’s front page, it is also seen on the individual pages for many of the artists for which the company is selling tickets, including Jimmy Buffett, Kid Rock and Jennifer Hudson. See the image below.
As of today, May 13, the advertisement is no longer on the Web site.
Such advertisements appear regularly throughout certain media sectors and publications, but Live Nation sells a fair amount of tickets to family oriented shows, in fact that category was highlighted in the company’s recent fiscal first quarter results as growing steadily.
In the “Advertise With Us” section on the Web site, Live Nation states that of its fan base, 30 percent of “teens attended a concert in the last year,” but 44 percent of its audience is adults between the ages of 25 and 44. Over twice as many members of its fan base, when compared to the national average, are between the ages of 18 and 24.
The Trojan ad is not displayed on ticket pages for the Wiggles, Glee and other family oriented acts, but at least one Live Nation consumer, who wished to remain anonymous, told TicketNews that they also saw the ad on a page for tickets to the upcoming Teen Choice Awards. TicketNews tried to replicate seeing the ad on that page but was unsuccessful.
The front page of Live Nation’s Ticketmaster division Web site, Ticketmaster.com, does not display the Trojan advertisement.
“I think having sex-related ads would hurt their business,” ticket broker Larry Melamed, owner of Big Dog Tickets, told TicketNews. Brokers on internet message boards snickered over the revelation. “They sell [tickets to] a lot of family oriented events, and I’m sure there are a lot of people under 18 that look [for shows] on Livenation.com. Normally, these types of ads rotate, but this doesn’t.”
A Live Nation spokesperson did not immediately reply to a message seeking comment.