P&G marketing chief questions value of Facebook – Brand Republic News – Brand Republic

Tip of the hat to Francois Gossieaux who tweeted a link to this Brand Republic piece:

“Procter & Gamble’s head of marketing, Ted McConnell, has said companies should not advertise on Facebook, saying social networks have no right to monetise their customer’s conversations.”

P&G marketing chief questions value of Facebook – Brand Republic News – Brand Republic.

I don’t view it as a matter of “rights” as much as intrusion factor and ROI/benefits. While it may be au courant to put a social network into one’s media plan, and while it may be noble but ultimately misguided to establish a brand outpost inside of a social network (be it a SecondLife island or a fan page in Facebook or MySpace), in the end it comes down to the old question: does it convert? Socially pushing soap — which Proctor & Gamble does — is different than socially pushing tech which because of its complexity requires more aftersale support between the brand and the end user.

That said, I think any advertiser who rolls into a conversational medium and starts shouting “Buy” is going to get their hats handed to them fairly quickly. Those who inveigle their way in gradually, and who don’t hijack the medium with the 2008 equivalent of pop-ups, lead gen registration walls, or blicking epilepsy inducing display ads, and who study the anthropological subtleties of the natives may find, if they are clever, that they actually don’t have to pay for the attention. Dunno, just a theory. But I, like Mr, McConnell, remain chary of advertising next to someone posting a picture of a keg stand or their sick guinea pig than I do running the message on PC Magazine or PC World.