The news of the demise of McDonald's YouTube channel 'Channel Us' prompted a discussion in the office about brands and retailers becoming publishers, and about publishers becoming retailers.
We have Marie Claire opening a beauty store in Tottenham Court Road, where having inspired readers to try new products, it now hopes to sell them either in store or online working with Ocado.
And we have Conde Nast taking a gamble that it can become a fashion etailer (according to this week's Sunday Times the gamble is not yet paying off!).
On TV last night I spotted Matalan collaborating with ITV and Time Inc in a content partnership - a biweekly fashion series you can view online.
And yet McDonald's could not make it work, perhaps showing that the content formula is not easy. Commentators have said that the content was commercially and not editorially driven. Which is why Matalan's collaboration with a broadcaster and publisher makes sense - get an expert in to help drive the editorial content.
It is 'horses for courses' - readers and customers get brand extensions but want clarity, they don't want editorial that is overtly selling a product so be clear on the lines between editorial and commerce.
Channel Us was described on its home page as "an entertainment channel". But the same label could be applied to many other YouTube channels, websites, social media feeds and TV brands. What made this stand out in the same way as many of McDonald’s’ ads do? Creating amazing advertising campaigns is a very different discipline from creating always on, editorially-focused entertainment. The proposition needs to feel unique, unify with other forms of social media and have a clear sense of purpose. Channel Us struggled on all these fronts.