A Hiccup in Facebook's Marketing

Yesterday, news came out that Vodaphone, First Direct, Virgin and the AA are removing their ads from Facebook. Apparently their ads were being displayed next to Facebook groups affiliated with the British National Party. I’m honestly amazed that something similar never occurred with MySpace. Facebook can take two approaches: ignore it or make a change to their advertising script. As far as I know though, Facebook’s banner ads are displayed and tracked via outside advertising companies. This would require more transparency between the two companies. Unfortunately I am unaware of how targeted Facebook’s banner ad campaigns are. As far as I know they are not targeted and are simply done on a CPM basis. If Vodaphone would like better advertising they can spend a measly $50,000 for a targeted news feed promotion. Ultimately, I think this was a mistake made by OMD, Vodaphone’s advertising agency. I’m sure Facebook said that these were untargeted ads. Who do you think is at fault here? Should Facebook spend the energy required to filter their banner ads based on content?

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