Sunday, 27 February 2011

CAP Extension next week

March 1 is when the ASA extends the CAP Code to digital marketing, including social media. There has been some debate amongst PR and social media types about how earned media is not 'governable' and that any attempt to govern shared media [comments on Facebook Pages and the like] will hinder two way dialogue between brands and people.

I kind of agree, but I think it will all depend on how it is policed. If the ASA is reasonable about UGC on owned media, then I think brands will continue to open up and communicate in new ways. If the ASA crack down on the slightest infringement then we may see brands withdrawing from conversation based communications, which will be a shame.

Having said all that, I do think it's a good thing that the ASA is cracking down on un-ethical use of social media.

On another note, many people have been unsure about what is allowed and what isn't. This email that the ASA sent to all its members on Friday, clears up a lot of the confusion.

Just a final reminder that next week (1st March) the digital remit of the Advertising Standards Authority will be extended to cover marketing communications online.

This will include:

- Company websites

- Advertisements and other marketing communications on advertiser-controlled pages on social networking websites.

- Advergames on own websites or in non-paid-for space online under the advertiser's control which amount to marketing communications.

- User-generated content will be included if:

a. The website owner originally solicits the submission of content from private individuals, then adopt and incorporate it within their own marketing communications.

b. A private individual provides the website owner, on an unsolicited basis, with material which the website owner subsequently adopted and incorporated within their own marketing communications.

A briefing note outlining the changes and a link to the full ASA guidance can be found by clicking here:

I reckon that if brands behave decently i.e. don't try and pull a fast one, deceive people or behave unethically in social media, then it should be business as usual from March 1.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Interesting stats from Facebook - 3M using Places

Met with the very nice chaps from Facebook today. As well as an extremely interesting discussion around what's coming up, I gleaned some interesting stats:
  • 26M Active UK users on Facebook
  • 14M UK users visit everyday, spending an average of 25 mins on Facebook
  • 35+ age group is the largest demographic
  • 2.6M UK Facebook users are over 55 [10% of total users]
  • 4X more likely to purchase due to an ad on Facebook vs standard display ad due to social element
  • 3M active UK users of Facebook Places. [This was perhaps the most impressive stat]

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Fudging pre moderation on Facebook

The latest changes to Facebook Pages mean you can [kinda] do pre moderation on your Facebook Page, which could be very handy in heavily regulated industries such as pharma and financial services.

In the Manage Permissions tab on your Facebook Page there is a box called 'Moderation Blocklist'. This allows you to type in words that, if contained in any wall posts, will be blocked until you approve the post.

So, you can put in lots of commonly used words such as 'the', 'it' etc, which would block the majority of posts. It's not fool proof, but it might ease clients and stakeholders' fears a little.

It's not an official way to moderate and I wouldn't really advise it, unless you really really need to - it sorta defeats the purpose of engaging with people on Facebook.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Newspapers need permission to use tweets?

An interesting ruling by the press complaints commission last week: Tweets are in the public domain and so can be used by newspapers in articles without being deemed an invasion of privacy.

That kinda makes sense: if you publish something on t'internet and someone reads it or re-publishes it, it can hardly be deemed an invasion of privacy.

Perhaps Ms Baskerville should have looked at copyright law to stop her tweets being used by The Daily Mail. If newspapers claim the words they publish are copyrighted and so charge PR agencies ridiculous amounts to be able to clip stories, then why can't people charge newspapers for republishing their words in social media? It's the same principle, isn't it?

There is a big debate about whether tweets are copyrighted or not. I'm not sure people will be able to copyright their tweets, but what about blog posts or longer form content?

If newspapers can copyright the words they publish, then why can't people do the same?

Just saying:)

Monday, 7 February 2011

Hookers on Facebook

I was pretty gobsmacked when I read that 83% of prostitutes have Facebook Pages. It comes from a study by Prof Sudhir Venkatesh of Columbia University who found that one out of four prostitutes get regular clients from Facebook.

The stat is amazing - not because I don't believe prostitution is a thriving business, but more because I can' imagine anyone Liking a Page or Profile by a Lady of the Night. I can't imagine the looks on the faces of my friends, family and colleagues when my status update read 'Robin Likes Candi GoodTimes'.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Nifty and simple twitter campaign from Orange

I do love those chaps who do Social Media at Orange. They do simple things that are really cool and tap into the human aspects of social media.

The winter warmer initiative on Twitter is a great example. You tweet #WinterWarmer with a mate's name and the nice guys at Orange ask you for their address then pop over with hot chocolate and a scarf. It actually happens as one my colleagues found out to her pleasant surprise.

It's not selling phones, pimping offers or getting you to Like something. It's just doing something nice for people to create a warm fuzzy feeling towards the brand.