Oh granny! Perusing Facebook byways the other day, I stumbled upon an ad that caught my attention. It was a sort-of-branded Target stores logo, and it grabbed my notice because the messaging seemed radical for mainstream advertising, no matter who the marketer was targeting or what the beef may be.
Curious, I clicked. The ad led to a desolate FB page that, to this day, nobody cares about. Few users “Liked.” It is probable that the ads pointing to this page don’t run much because this radical messaging and image would garner clicks and the cost will begin to mount. I don’t care about the politics hereof and nothing written in this post should be construed as approval or rejection of running these types of ads. Target-hate FB drama, which has even included FB shutting down a movement, is old hat. That said, the phenomenon of running ads in support of such things is remarkable for marketers and normal people.
Boycotts on Facebook are not new or news. About 785,000 FB users boycott BP.
Head on towards the FB Ajax search box in the user UI and do your good alpha-patterns. “Boycott [space] A,” “Boycott [space] “B,” then “Boycott [space] C.” You’ll be astounded at what you’ll unearth.
The placement of Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories to promote intense (micro)-communities organizing against corporations has harrowing implications for brands. First, there is the question of trademarks and whether FB should police at the editorial level. A court order would likely cause Facebook to take such paid and organic content down if American laws are broken, but those are expensive and time-consuming remedies to orchestrate. Ick. Still, that’s how Google handles things. But in Google, we can monitor to see what’s going on.
The work around is to set up your personal profile with interests and other profile variables that trigger themed FB Ads. Alas… it’s against FB TOS for you to have multiple FB accounts. Consider asking your Great Grandmother to open a FB to use just for this special task.
Of course, there are lots of folks out there that want to boycott FB itself. But that’s a different story for another time.
Image: © Justinb – Fotolia