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Facebook Advertising and Plagiarism

I use Facebook, I know weird right, we all know that using Facebook is pretty rare, its not like half the planet have an account or anything. Oh wait, they do – that’s probably why they make a butt load of money from advertising, just like a company I saw paying for Facebook advertising on my profile recently.

How does Facebook Advertising work?

It’s pretty smart really, Facebook gives you a free way to connect with friends, become the perfect butler who can arrange your party, take your messages, and stroke your ego when your friends like your post of a funny cat.

In return, you use it more… and more, and you start to tell your friends what you ‘like’. Aha!! They got you… muahaha. Facebook now can make money from you. Thats right. Every time you ‘like’ something on Facebook, you become an advertising target. Every time you share your love for your favourite band, sporting hero or beverage, you become valuable to Facebook.

Personally, I’m ok with that. We get something for free, they get something they can make money from. It’s a trade. If your not ok with that, you might want want to use another service or delete your account – it’s never going to change.

For those of you shouting at the screen saying “but I never click on advertising on Facebook, ahahaha I’m a god!!” Well that may be the case, but with so many people on Facebook, they will be a percentage of people who will – and if you think hard enough, you may even realise you have actually done so.

Be Careful Which Graphics You Use!

So this brings you to my next point and a recent blunder of an advertiser on Facebook, @Donanza, a freelance website, pretty big, pretty highly ranked. Probably because of things I have in my profile about business, web design etc, they targeted me… Fine, except for the image they used for their advertising I recognised and its absolutely 100% not theirs. They stole it from a game Microsoft made approx 10 years ago. A computer game I like very much and they are using to profit from. I opened up my MarketMeSuite, uploaded a photo to Phto.me, and tweeted them to show them the source image they stole it from, and the advert on my page.

Is it ok for a company to plagiarise an image? (personally I don’t think its a good idea to plagiarise an image that belongs to Microsoft, those guys have got a lot of money).

Twitter To The Rescue

For the record @Donanza responded within 48 hours, and thanked me for my detective work. They have already changed the creative.

It was nice of them to offer me and my team an alpha invite, and to return the favor we sent them MarketMeSuite.  I’ve managed to solve an issue and make a connection using Twitter.  Any platform that could help me identify a wrong, contact the wrong-doer, and have it solved in a matter of days… that’s pretty powerful.  Moral of the story though? Don’t plagiarize your creatives! You never know when a pain in the you know what like me will see your ad and recognize the graphic!

-Image Source: http://phto.me/cb914 (although I should note we do not own the Freelance image – that belongs to Microsoft!)



Author:Alan Hamlyn

Alan is the CTO of MarketMeSuite. When he's not programming madly he enjoys walking his dog Brian, and writing articles for this awesome website.
  • http://twitter.com/digitaliprod Digital I

    I think (and someone should check this) that your agreement for “free” facebook may provide a non-exclusive right for facebook to “borrow” your publicly available content (i.e. uploaded graphics, etc.) for promotional purposes. That is, if you have made your photo gallery public, facebook can use the images in it in their ads, for free, without asking permission, so long as they don’t claim any exclusive rights. So it may be the person who uploaded the image of this product to their photo gallery that should be considered responsible for the infringement, rather than the ad buyer who got the short end of a facebook tag-matching algorithm. 

    Kudos to the folks a Donanza for having the ethics to fix the issue anyway, and thanks for the blog posting. As a creative and representative/marketer of other creatives, I am acutely aware of the problem that many people consider anything “found on the Internet” to be fair game for re-use. We have far too much misinformation on copyright, trademark and other intellectual property regulations.