Facebook must do more to assure brands that their advertising won’t appear against controversial content, media agencies have stressed.
new media age this week revealed Tesco has pulled advertising from Facebook groups after its ads were served alongside groups supporting holocaust denial.
Facebook fielded a spokeswoman to answer industry concerns, but commercial director Blake Chandlee wasn’t prepared to reassure advertisers, via new media age, that the company was taking immediate steps to protect their brands.
The industry is calling on the social network to step up content monitoring and offer greater assurances of prevention measures to advertisers.
A spokesman for Tesco, whose ads appeared next to a Holocaust denial group, said, “It’s an extremely offensive group and we wouldn’t want to be associated with it.”
An O2 spokeswoman said, “This is a breach of our standards. As soon as this was brought to our attention we took immediate action and instructed our ad to be removed from the offending Facebook page.”
Matt Simpson, chairman of the IPA Digital Media Group and group head of digital at OMD, said, “The media owner should categorically make sure ads don’t appear next to this type of inappropriate content.”
Guy Phillipson, CEO of the Internet Advertising Bureau, said, “Facebook should take the lead from MySpace. It should have people or technology to ensure advertisers can exclude ads from offensive groups.”
A Facebook spokesman said, “We give advertisers the tools to control where their ads appear. This includes the ability to make sure they don’t appear on any groups. We’re closely monitoring the groups and have already removed several of them.”
John Whittingdale, chairman of the DCMS Parliamentary Committee, said, “It’s in Facebook’s interest to give assurance to brands. If it can’t give that guarantee then advertisers won’t advertise there.”
This story first appeared on newmediaage.co.uk