When was the last time you checked your company’s Facebook page? If you had to think about that question, it might be worth a look.
Havas Media is learning that the hard way today after discovering its Facebook page was somehow hijacked over the past year and is currently posting random viral videos that have nothing to do with the media agency or its clients.
Adweek was tipped off to this odd takeover by Poland-based marketer Bartłomiej Przybysz, who recently stumbled across it and realized it is indeed the same page linked from the Havas Media website homepage. It also features Facebook’s verified checkmark and more than 120,000 followers, hinting that it was likely a legit page at some point but was somehow taken over. The page is adorned with what is definitely not the Havas Media logo. It instead appears seafoam teal with a typeface that’s not even close to the Havas font.
When a reader scrolls down, they are met with viral social videos, like one where a girl dresses up in a fat suit and tries to get help from a stranger, or another where a man argues with police after getting wrongfully arrested after buying his son a bike.
The information on the page claims that it was created September 25, 2020, and there are what looks to be a few test posts just saying “hi,” the latest being one from February 22 of this year. The video posts didn’t begin until September 17, and there have been four posted, the last one from yesterday.
To make matters even more suspect, the About section on the page states: “HAVAS Media is a US news and entertainment brand, created for the youth community. We champion everyday heroes for amazing acts of kindness, humour and bravery. We cover stories about celebrities, TV, film and gaming, as well as breaking news.” That’s the same copy that the U.K. site LADbible uses on its Facebook page, just replacing Havas and US.
Havas was alerted to the issue and had this to say through a spokesperson: “We were made aware of a Havas Media page not connected in any way to Havas Media Group. We are working closely with our partners at Facebook to resolve the issue and to protect our followers.”