Social networks are becoming the new form of communication among friends, colleagues and family. And aside from the socializing aspect of these sites, they’re proving to have a strong impact with online advertising and marketing. In recent years, social media has been a valuable internet-based tool used for the sharing and trading of information. And now famous networks like Twitter and YouTube are giving big name brands reason to think twice about their ad campaigns.

Motrin Ad Causes Controversy

The power of social media and the influence it can have became evident when Johnson & Johnson recently pulled an online advertisement for its popular pain pill, Motrin, after it became a target on social media networks across the country. The major health care company launched the ad over the weekend gearing their marketing towards mothers who get back pain from carrying their babies in slings. However, female consumers found the ad to be offensive due to its “insensitive portrayal of women’s pain.”

WIthout missing a beat, consumers quickly took to their blogs and video-sharing sites like YouTube and Twitter to voice their anger and disapproval of the new Motrin ad.

The Influence of Social Media

So what was the result of all of these bloggers exposing their outrage at Johnson & Johnson? The pharmaceutical company quickly pulled the ad from the Motrin site and made several apologies on both their site and blog to any consumers they had offended.

“It was meant to engender sympathy and appreciation for all that parents do for their kids, but did so through an attempt at humor that missed the mark and many moms found offensive,” explained Kathy Widmer, vice president of marketing, on J&J’s blog.

The company is also yanking the ad from all magazines.

This is just one instance that proves just how influential social media has become in today’s society, so influential that it can sway corporate behavior at Fortune 500 companies like Johnson & Johnson. Among other social media networks that have reared their head as influencers in an ever changing web-based world, are Facebook and MySpace, two sites that have changed the way that youth and adults alike communicate and share with one another. Whatever happened to the simple days when your cell phone was your primary means of communication? Long gone.