May 12, 2014, 10:53 AM

Banana Republic and other online retailers test Pinterest ads

The social network says its test aims to ensure that its search and category feed ads are ‘tasteful,’  ‘transparent’ and ‘relevant’ to users.

Lead Photo

Pinterest's "Promoted Pins" ads appear in search results and category feeds.

Pinterest wants to make sure that introducing ads to its platform doesn’t spoil the fun.

The social network says it is working with online retailers such as Banana Republic, lululemon athletica Inc. and Target Corp., as well as brands such as Ziploc, to test how its users react to its “Promoted Pins” ad unit appearing in search results and category feeds.

The social network, which today announced some of the brands it is working with, says it wants to make sure that the ads are “tasteful, transparent” and “relevant” to its users.  

“We hope Promoted Pins help you find inspiration and discover things you care about, whether it’s ideas for dinner, places to go or gifts to buy,” writes Joanne Bradford, Pinterest’s head of partnerships, in a blog post.

Pinterest is the 12th most-visited site in the United States, according to Alexa Internet Inc., a subsidiary of Amazon.com Inc., and the average visitor spends more than 7 minutes and 13 seconds per visit on the site.

Pinterest allows consumers to share favorite products by pinning images from around the web, creating an online collection of pictures. Consumers add their pins to boards, which are organizational tools used to group pins together around a particular theme—for example “My Style.” Consumers can also repin images that others have pinned, and endorse others’ pins by clicking a Like button.

Banana Republic is owned by Gap Inc., which is No. 19 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. lululemon athletica is No. 112 and Target Corp. is No. 18.

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