‘Clever’ Oz advertisers keep close watch on Facebookers’ updates

Sunday, September 20, 2009

MELBOURNE - Advertising agencies in Australia are keeping a close eye on the pages of the six million Facebook users to update advertisements of products they deem fit as soon as there is some change in the social networking site user’s account status.

Business houses seem to target potential customers on the social network site according to sex, age, location, relationship status, job title, workplace or university.

In fact advertisers respond to a Facebook page update in not more than few seconds.

If the relationship status is turned single, then dating agency ads immediately pop up on the Facebook page.

And when it is turned from single to engaged then the previous ad generally gets replaced by something like a building inspection company, which asks: “Buying a property?”

Similarly other products are also advertised, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Shannan Human, 30, of Dee Why shared her experience: “Since I’ve changed my status to married I keep getting all this baby stuff, and I don’t want to have a baby.

“And when I changed to engaged I used to get stacks of wedding gown ads and weight-loss ads.

However, she is not too happy with the smart marketing strategy.

She said: “I find it a bit of a pest, to be honest. I use Facebook primarily as a social networking site to keep in touch with my friends and family.

“I feel like it’s an invasion of my privacy if I don’t want my stuff sold to a third party - I’m there to socialise with friends, not to make money for other people.”

Facebook regional vice-president Paul Borrud has defended the advertising policy.

He said: “The internet has moved from anonymity to authenticity It is about real people; the advertising is going to a real person, and what you were into 10 years ago - movies, music, books has changed.

“So it gives the advertiser the chance to engage with a community based on what they are today.”

But groups in Facebook are protesting against the ads.

The group People Against Intrusive Advertising on Facebook states: “Facebook is getting greedy at our expense”. (ANI)

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