By guest blogger Nicola Michel
The recent ruling by the Advertising Standards Board that advertisers are responsible for third party posts on their Facebook page has, not surprisingly, been labelled "a challenge" by the body that represents the $30 billion a year marketing industry. "Challenging" barely begins to address the ramifications of the decision, which goes to the heart of whether social media campaigns are even viable in a world where marketers are held responsible for the ill-judged comments of followers.
A number of examples ignited the fire under the ABS, but chief among them were some of the comments posted on the Facebook page of Carlton & United Breweries (CUB's) 'VB' beer brand, when followers were asked a supposedly innocuous question: "Besides VB, what's the next essential needed for a great Australia Day BBQ?"
Whether or not you consider the question innocuous (the phrase 'asking for trouble' springs to mind), the majority of the answers certainly weren't. Of those that actually made sense, they ranged from the vaguely moronic to the downright distasteful, spanning the gamut of sexist, racist and homophobic.