Facebook Tosses Advertiser Plugging Google+ Account


ADOTAS – Facebook is apparently akin to Hogwart’s School of Wizardry — similar to how young wizards are forbidden to say the name “Voldemort” in the hallways, it appears when you’re on Facebook, you’ll have to refer to Google+ as “the social network that shall not be named.”

Well, maybe just if you’re advertising. Developer Michael Lee Johnson tried to draw media attention to what he claimed was the first Google+ ad on Facebook — yes, he set up a targeted Facebook ad to recruit followers for his Google+ account.

Well, he got Facebook’s attention — the company didn’t just kill the campaign but disabled his Facebook ad account. Via email, Facebook informed Johnson:

“Your account has been disabled. All of your adverts have been stopped and should not be run again on the site under any circumstances. Generally, we disable an account if too many of its adverts violate our Terms of Use or Advertising guidelines. Unfortunately we cannot provide you with the specific violations that have been deemed abusive. (Emphasis Adotas.) Please review our Terms of Use and Advertising guidelines if you have any further questions.”

I thought that as Facebook’s revenue efforts were growing up — i.e., sidling up to major brands and agencies — that the company would show more professionalism in their advertiser relationships.

However, it looks like Facebook is keeping up its notoriety for arbitrarily deciding an advertisement is against policy post-placement — remember how Just Say Now’s pro-marijuana decriminalization ads were unceremoniously booted, with Facebook claiming the ads violated its ban on “smoking products”? Of course, this was after 38 million impressions had been served over 10 days…

Currently the company is staying mum on why Johnson’s account was closed, but expect some backpedaling any minute now — my money is on a super-hackneyed reading of the TOS. And did the Facebook admins think Johnson, who live-blogged the creation process on Google+ and sought social support before executing, wouldn’t make a stink on the nascent and potential rival social network?

A stink that the media would pick up on — such reactionary behavior plays right into a boiling media narrative about Facebook being scared silly by Google+. I’d guess Facebook’s entire PR department are doing synchronized face-palms right about now.


  1. Chutzpah, that’s what I’d call Johnson’s M.L.Johnson’s advertising on Facebook. So Facebook called him on it and then cancelled his account. I agree. Facebook went too far.


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