Don’t Blame Facebook, Blame the Marketers
Facebook is intentionally profiting off our anger. This week a whistleblower confirmed what many of us have suspected for years. The resulting backlash has been widely covered in the media and calls for more regulation on Facebook have been growing. Yet the one group most directly responsible for institutionalizing Facebook’s perverse engagement-at-all-costs mindset is noticeably silent. Where are the voices of the marketers?
I’ve been working in the marketing and advertising industry for more than two decades, but this week I’m ashamed of us. As I read story after story in the marketing trade publications about the Facebook, as well as a six hour outage conveniently explained as a “network issue,” these were some examples of headlines:
- “Facebook’s Six-Hour Outage Costs An Estimated $79 million In Ad Revenue Loss”
- “Facebook’s Outage Shakes Up Conversion and Ad Delivery Numbers”
- “Facebook Files Motion to Dismiss FTC’s Amended Complaint”
The big story, according to the marketing industry, was all the lost revenue from Facebook’s outage along with the lesson that marketers need to diversify their ad spending. There was hardly any mention of the findings of Facebook profiting from making their experience addictive or the ethical implications of that choice. It was left to tech publications like Gizmodo to document the “9 horrifying facts” from the whistleblower’s interview on 60 Minutes or the many ways that Zuckerburg’s hastily released statement yesterday leveraged many textbook-evil strategies from the PR playbook of Big Tobacco.
Facebook’s policies and actions are a direct result (Read more...)