Facebook Drops Age, Residency, and Industry Prohibitions on Promotions

Published: 18 May 2011 y., Wednesday

Facebook updated its promotions guidelines this week, and has now confirmed that it no longer blanket-prohibits promotions (including give-aways) for tobacco, dairy, gambling, firearms, prescription drugs, and gasoline.

Promoters must still comply with restrictions in the juridictions where the promotions are held, but Facebook has dropped its site-wide restrictions that were originally designed to preserve local laws. Marketers can also require a purchase for entry, and target those below age 18 or who live in certain countries such as India and Norway.

The change could lead big brands in the now-unrestricted industries to step up their marketing efforts on Facebook, drawing spend away from more traditional marketing mediums such as TV and print. It will also allow all marketers more flexibility in promotion targeting and rules.

Some states prohibit the promotion of the previously restricted products types to protect the public or key industries. Some companies such as Starbucks appear to have skirted these restrictions in the past, perhaps through selective targeting and fine print. For example, Starbucks rapidly grew the Like count of its Facebook Page by giving away free ice cream. Rather than add an additional layer of legal complexity, Facebook is now leaving it up to marketers to run their promotions in ways that don’t violate local laws, such as restricting entry to residents of states without restrictions.

Promotions have become core component of brand presence on Facebook. By offering a prize or experience, brands can draw users to Like their Pages and share branded links with friends. However, shifting guidelines and gray areas have created some confusion in the industry about what is or isn’t compliant with policy. This simplification of the guidelines should make things more clear to some, but it could also be misinterpreted to mean these types of promotions are legal when they violate local laws.

Šaltinis: insidefacebook.com
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