NEW YORK: Less than a fifth of US brand owners and agencies plan to use Pinterest, the image-sharing platform, for business purposes, despite its rising popularity among consumers.

A poll of 500 client-side and advertising executives by the Creative Group, the specialist recruitment firm, discovered that just 7% of companies are actively utilising this service.

Elsewhere, a further 10% intended to start doing so in the future, while 17% were aware of the site but proved hesitant about its potential benefits from a company perspective.

An additional 44% of the sample displayed "no interest" in using Pinterest, and 18% had never even heard of the rapidly-growing social media property.

The research did, however, reveal differences in attitude depending on the size and type of organisation concerned.

As an example, advertising executives at larger agencies were more active on Pinterest than their peers representing smaller agencies and their corporate marketing counterparts.

More specifically, 24% of executives at agencies with over 100 employees are already deploying Pinterest as part of the marketing mix, while another 6% wanted to create an account.

"Pinterest has attracted a huge following quickly, but companies may be waiting to see if its popularity will last, and what the potential business uses are, in order to determine if a presence there makes sense," said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group.

Farrugia also observed that the visual nature of Pinterest made it a helpful self-promotion vehicle for creative professionals.

"Designers can use Pinterest to showcase their work and curate images they like," she said.

"This approach can be especially helpful for those just starting their careers as it allows hiring managers to get a sense of their aesthetic and style despite having a limited portfolio."

Data sourced from The Creative Group; additional content by Warc staff, 24 August 2012