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Facebook Ads Should Have an Opt-Out

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[ Social Media]
Lately I’ve been seeing far more ads on Facebook supported by implicit endorsements from friends. I’ve also had other friends share screenshots of ads and applications that I endorse. While Facebook did an admirable job mitigating the Beacon controversy, the debate about its Social Ads is far from over, and Facebook clearly isn’t yet giving enough control to its users.

Consider this ad that appeared in the left-hand ad space on friend Jeremiah Owyang‘s profile page, which he then sent to me:

Facebook_endorsement_1_3

Yes, about a month ago I did sign up as a fan of Blockbuster’s Facebook page. Yet I never told Blockbuster that it could use me to endorse its ads. I’m not a user of Blockbuster Total Access. In fact, as I write this, I’m home sick, I don’t have any good Netflix movies here, and there’s nothing but garbage on pay-per-view On-Demand or HBO On-Demand, so I even looked up Blockbuster to see if there’s one near my apartment, and the closest is ten blocks away (others that were closer have shut down since I last checked). If anything, I’m a little pissy with Blockbuster right now, so I’m surely not going to provide a testimonial for their ad campaign.

So what’s the next logical step? I tried to opt out of the advertising. Of course, I can’t. The only setting I can change says, "Allow Blockbuster to send Updates to the Updates tab of my Facebook Inbox" – in other words, I can opt in or out of Blockbuster messaging through Facebook. How come I can’t opt into or out of its ad campaign? Here’s the screen shot of the settings on Blockbuster:

Facebook_endorsement_2

This doesn’t just revolve around pages. Jan Van den Bergh also sent me a screenshot of how I provided this kind of endorsement for an application being advertised, and not even one of the apps I’m particularly fond of. I wonder what else I’m endorsing. Facebook, this isn’t over.

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Facebook Ads Should Have an Opt-Out
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About David Berkowitz
David Berkowitz is Director of Strategic Planning for 360i and oversees the Search Informed Marketing firm's Emerging Media Practice. Every Tuesday, he pens the Search Insider column for MediaPost, with over 100 articles published to date. He often speaks at events covering marketing, media, and technology; his previous engagements include Ad:Tech, Consumer Electronics Show - Digital Hollywood, MediaPost's Search Insider Summit, and many others. He has also blogged extensively with MarketersStudio.com, MarketingVox, nowEurope, AdTechBlog, and others. WebProNews Writer
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