Facebook banned FCUK and Cadbury India for violating codes

Facebook, an immensely popular social networking site has withdrawn the official Indian pages of fashion house FCUK (French Connection United Kingdom), chocolate conglomerate Cadbury India’s Buornville for violating the codes of governing hosting of such pages and halting the social media promotion on which these brands have been thriving on.

Facebook has a ‘promotional guidelines’ which every brand must glue to while publishing offers and contests on their fan pages. The guidelines are issued to “govern your communication about or administration of any contest, competition, sweepstakes or other similar offering using Facebook”.

As per the guidelines, if a brand willings to release promotions or run contests, brand should do it by creating an external application or tab. This is to specifically state that “the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.” Iam wire tried to reach the Facebook for the comment but Company was not available for citing specific reasons why it banned the promo pages.

Earlier, a week ago in a similar fashion official Facebook page of Pizza hut was also removed. Reiterating on the issue of removal Ashok Bajpai, General Manager, Pizza Hut (Delivery) said “Facebook revises its promotions guidelines after regular intervals. Although, when the policy was updated in the beginning of 2011, the administrator of Pizza Hut Delivery India did not receive any notification of the change in norms. In a routine scan, Facebook referred to an old promotional offer that was still on our wall and temporarily disabled it until the historic content was deleted. Our administrator has been in touch with Facebook to ensure that we remain in compliance with the revised norms”

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Iam wire tried to speak to FCUK through email and phone but company was not responding, however, the Cadbury India spokesperson said “The Cadbury Bournville Facebook fan page went offline on Thursday. Cadbury is currently working with Facebook and agency partners to ascertain the reason and re-activate the fan page at the earliest”. A fake Google Buzz page now appears on the Cadbury Bournville page. A large number of brands big and medium sizes are using Facebook extensively to strengthening their brand. Almost all brands using Facebook support the use of ‘Like’ button as a voting mechanism. However, leaving a comment on a post is considered an entry to the contest. This is considered a violation of the guideline. Some brands need users to tag pictures of their friends to win gift vouchers, which violates privacy norms.

Hemant Singh, Senior Business consultant and SEO analyst at SEO Fleet, a New Delhi based Internet and Social media marketing firm said “ Whatever Facebook is doing is nothing new Facebook had practised this a couple of years ago to certain brands in the US. In fact the decision has fair amount of impact on future strategy of brand promotion on Facebook. After the ban people will show interest in development and it is also a warning for the brands and agencies managing them to stick to the norms laid by Facebook”.

Another digital professional, Praveen Pandey from Mumbai reiterated that Facebook is tightening its nooze in terms of their advertising policies; now one cannot take Facebook lightly in terms of advertising any format to value the brands. In the context of the Facebook Pizza Hut Delivery India and FCUK India page on Facebook it is very crucial be updated on the advertising policies both from Media agencies and brand team.