15 thoughts on “Hey Coke, Don't Just Blame Facebook”

  1. I love it how Coca Cola all of a sudden gets a conscience. Where was that conscience the last 50 years as they’ve been encouraging consumption of their cancer causing combo of sugar and caffeine? Their sugar pushing is a global effort and I would wager they’ve deceptively marketed it in more than one instance and probably wiped out many local businesses along the way. I’m calling BS on Coke.

  2. Coca Cola had another reason to withdraw. Our group and US PIRG asked the Federal Trade Commission to specifically investigate the role that food and beverage companies are playing with the Facebook and MySpace expanded targeted system (in addition to an overall review of the new approach and privacy threats). The FTC is currently investigating food marketing practices and their relationship to the youth obesity crisis (as required by Congress). I believe Coca Cola, whose behavioral targeting practices we complained about in a May 2007 report given to the FTC (www.digitalads.org), decided there was now too much political heat. We are keeping the pressure up at both the FTC and in the EU on the overall data privacy threats and the specific impact to youth (including interactive marketing of food and beverage products).

  3. “Frimping” huh? Almost bad as “Fan-sumer”… 😉

    The coverage at Ad:Tech was really focused on social ads and the implications of that new product, more so on the specifics of Beacon.

    I suspect Coke wasn’t fully aware, but yes, should have asked the right questions.

  4. Does anybody understand how Coke would have worked with Beacon? It’s not like anybody is buying Cokes online to populate news feeds. Actually, it’s not like anybody is doing anything on Coca Cola’s website that could be translated into a news feed story. While Coke is obviously a giant brand, in terms of Beacon, how would they even fit in?

  5. @ Lawrence,

    They signed up to be the advertiser that uses the data collected by Facebook to have better targeting. In other words, they are the direct beneficiary of Beacon. So they fit into this mess from a company that wants to profit from “hyper-targeting.” They will be the brand that gets frimped.

  6. From the reaction across the board I think it’s very possible that Facebook purposely avoided the question of how Beacon data got into the system. They are “Inside the Tornado” now and the omission might not have been purposeful. Clearly Facebook felt the pressure to ensure that there would be sufficient Beacon data for these high-profile advertisers and the temptation to remove an opt-in would have been high. With an opt-out it would have been possible for the program to have failed early.

    Should Coke have dug deeper? Probably, but I’m sure they trusted Facebook when they claim privacy is a top concern. Just like the users did.

  7. To say that Coca-cola should have some egg on their face for not digging dipper and doing their due diligence is fair.

    To say they somehow share some culpability with Facebook for putting out a program that demotes users’ privacy rights to second fiddle is a bit much.

    Was Facebook somehow enticed by Coca Cola and the other 40 vendors to build Beacon, I don’t think so.

    Much of the egg is as it should be on Facebook’s face for clearly trying to monetize to aggressively its user base. There a business no doubt, but monetizing at the expense of your users is a short-term strategy.

  8. Could this be “spyware 2.0”?

    Remember the 1999 DoubleClick fiasco, when 10 states and Elliot Spitzer came down on them for merging web browsing behavior with personally identifiable info (PII)? (see http://www.clickz.com/showPage.html?page=1455141) How is this that different? Notification isn’t the big deal here, it’s the lack of transparency and control.

    Facebook’s PII+behavior data collection efforts extend beyond Beacon partners. They can collect any data they want, anywhere they can drop a cookie (ad, image, js, etc.). Like for instance, across the whole Microsoft ad network? More thoughts on my blog …

  9. Another corporation trying to distance itself from incompetent executives. How can you make a media buy without knowing the details?
    The bottom line is Carol Kruse is covering her ass. What I hear from Coke insiders is that she is generally clueless about interactive marketing and gets most of her information from sycophants and Business 2.0 and then pretends she knows what the hell she is doing. What a joke!

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