If your content is too racy, sexy, offensive or controversial, chances are Facebook may now pull down ads on your page. Beginning July 1, Facebook said it will expand its definition of pages and groups that are too controversial to carry advertisements. It will pull any ads from pages that contain violence or sexual content. In May, Facebook lost more than a dozen major advertisers, including Zipcar and Nissan, after the activist group Women, Action and the Media urged an advertising boycott to protest hate speech on the Facebook site. Controversial content included posters and photos that encouraged rape, abuse and other violence against women.
It’s not that hard for a small business to figure out if one or two unhappy customers have issues with the content, or if it’s mostly everyone. If it’s mostly everyone, you'd get inundated with phone calls, emails, letters and tweets. A smart business person would take immediate action, pull the ad, address the issue, apologize, beg forgiveness and do an about face. If not, then you find out the hard way, like Facebook did, that consumers, advertisers and businesses have learned to vote with their wallets. I know it’s hard to figure out what consumers like or don’t like, what’s considered offensive and what’s not. It’s a crapshoot. What’s not a crapshoot, is the fact you have to address the problem ... and the sooner the better. Facebook didn’t respond quickly enough and lost billions in ad revenue, hurt their brand, pissed off their advertisers and more. Bottom line—when people complain about anything, pay attention. Once you determine your clientele are right, apologize and change. It’s far less painful than ignoring things and hoping it all goes away.
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