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Facebook Ads Rubbing Some the Wrong Way

Including Advertisers

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FacebookYesterday I posted an article on SmallBusinessNewz about targeted ads insulting customers, in which I referenced a Washington Post story from writer Rachel Beckman.

Her story, which has been the subject of a lot of discussion around the web, is basically about targeted ads appearing to her on Facebook, calling her fat. One ad in particular suggests that she has a "muffin top." She also cited other offending ads, but her point was that she feels insulted by some of the ads that Facebook has chosen to display to her.

Muffin Top AdBeckman’s story has gotten pretty popular on Digg, where one user comments, "Muffin top sounds better than, chick with roll of fat pouring out of her too tight pants." Others simply just suggest ad blocking. Should you have to block all ads in order to not be insulted though? I’m not going to delve too deep into why insulting ads are in poor taste. I already wrote that article. I’ll just say the fact that they are targeted at specific people makes them a little more sensitive than if they were not personalized.

I received an interesting comment  from Alan at AffiliateConfession, however, that puts a different spin on the story. He says that while insulting ads like the "muffin top" one are "far from the norm", advertisers themselves are also unhappy with Facebook’s ad system.

Our frustration comes from trying to get ads approved these days. Facebook rejects nearly everything you throw at them unless is adheres to some very narrow criteria. Couple that with the fact that no two editors interpret guidelines the same and the Facebook Ad system turns into a joke. You can submit the exact same ads at different times of the day and have one editor disapprove it and the next one approve it.

There are even cases where advertisers spending more than $100k have had previously approved ads turned off without so much as an email or a phone call from FB. What media company in their right mind disses a $100k spender?

Alan explores this subject more in an interesting post on his blog. This is just one man’s critique however. Having never spent ad money with Facebook personally, I am curious as to whether or not others are commonly having similar problems.

Facebook Ads Rubbing Some the Wrong Way
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  • Guest

    I have a 1k budget per day with Facebook and I have the exact same problems. No ad is accepted the same way, you could even get semi-pornographic images accepted by some of the editors. It just isn’t consistent at all.

    • Chris Crum

      That’s interesting.

  • http://www.stayinsouthafrica.co.za Mark

    It almost seems that when Matt Cohler left Facebook, things started going south and now i think they are heading for Rock Bottom.  

  • shannon

    I, myself, prefer the new FB look…it is way easier to move around a page now than it was previously.  If you were to look at a friends page, and they happen to be an application addict, it took forever to load their pages! even with the fastest internet speed out there!  I often heard of this, and a few of my friends barely had visitors because of this.  Now you can choose to see what you want on a friends page(s).  I am sure there are more things they will work out to make it even better…but for the most part, this is a better change.

    as for ads….waste of time…i have probably clicked on a couple…(ie Bon Jovi as I heard he was coming to town…again?)  OLD AD!  and i have clicked on some by mistake (darn laptop keyboard!)  I was going to post an ad, but was told pay per click was a waste of money and a scam,,.,, so i refuse to do pay per click on any ads..even google.  with so many free advertising opportunities.. why would anyone waste money advertising on facebook?

    I totally disagree with the weightloss ads… they need to have some taste in this department…after all… are we not trying to teach our girls that vanity isnt everything?  you dont have to look like a top model to be gorgeous?  someone should sue their out of date advertising policies on this matter! 

  • http://www.usejoomla.com John

    Absolutely true, I’ve given up trying to do any more Facebook ads. I concluded that the guy in charge must be trying to destroy the business deliberately.  Don’t even waste a moment setting up ads on Facebook, there is something very wrong in that organization.

  • http://www.worryfreeonlineshopping.webs.com Martha

    I agree. Facebook is just a waste of time. It is like having a Friendster offline. So what is the reason signing up for a Facebook account when you can use Friendster.

  • http://www.skewsme.com Skews Me

    I became so sick and tired of seeing nude male torsos ripped with muscles for weight loss pills on my Facebook pages that I just started giving every one of them I could a thumbs down with comments that they were pornographic. Shortly thereafter, those ads entirely vanished from my pages.

  • http://car2be.com/ Used Land Rover

    Her story, which has been the subject of a lot of discussion around the web, is basically about targeted ads appearing to her on Facebook, calling her fat. One ad in particular suggests that she has a “muffin top.” She also cited other offending ads, but her point was that she feels insulted by some of the ads that Facebook has chosen to display to her.

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