Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has been in the headlines lately for something not in its control and not taking responsibility for it, and those have been causing a firestorm over the last couple of weeks. And while a PR nightmare is never a good thing in and of itself, when a company really gets hurt is where most people feel the pinch – in the pocketbook.
The first partners to publicly announce their campaign suspensions, especially in the U.K. were Nissan and Nationwide, as they both noted that in Facebook’s system of placing targeted ads with users, that it seemed that their ads were regularly coming up in very close proximity to some of the offensive posts that have been displayed on Facebook.
Dove, a subsidiary of Unilever, is on the list of companies considering a suspension, but Unilever is currently working with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to try to clean up the site of the offensive content and set up new policy terms that would more readily ban specific references to violence against women. Nissan says it is also working with Facebook to remove the posts and work on the algorithm that slots the ads to help move Nissan ads away from offensive content.
The algorithm is set up based on certain data about users, their preferences and the items they “like” on Facebook and elsewhere on the web (when they are logged into Facebook), and the ads that are shown are targeted toward that user based on criteria set by the advertiser and cross-references with the data compiled by Facebook about the users.
So what is it about Nissan and Nationwide ads that get them so close to this type of content at Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)?