Facebook Advertising Gone Bad

An over the top ad campaign for the upcoming Universal Pictures produced “Untraceable” has been removed from Facebook after concerns were expressed about excessive violent content. I’m fortunate not to have seen the content because it sounds pretty gruesome. According to the Guardian, the agency had launched a Facebook page called “Kill With Me”. The more people that joined the page, the more gruesome the content.

The page included the following text: “”This guy is going to die. You want to see his stinking flesh burn and bleed and blacken? Until he’s some twisted dead thing? This is what you want. And I’ve filmed it especially for you. The more fans I get, the more I’ll show …” An equally controversial campaign was posted on Seesmic which included a series of videos ending in the users being tortured and murdered. A community moderator ended up calling police after failing to be notified of the campaign.

According to one of the agency representatives “There’s that interesting question of whether people are desensitised to things on screen … They will watch these things, but won’t say they watched them.” I’m not sure what they were going for but the campaign has since been pulled. They frequently say that all press is good press but this over the top campaign was truly a test of that theory. Imagine if you stumbled upon someone being murdered while browsing through Seesmic. It would have a serious emotional impact.