Friday Download: Snapchat recruitment is here to stay, Facebook steps up ad governance & breaching FTCs influencer regulations can now get you prosecuted…

You may recall that way back in June we talked about how McDonald’s was using Snapchat to fill jobs in the US and Australia. Well, it seems Morgan Stanley was paying attention, and has defied convention in order to connect with a demographic traditionally at odds with banking and the financial services world. Despite its uncertainties about Snapchat’s long-term finances, the investment bank has been experimenting with the app and next week students at eighteen US colleges will be able to snap a picture with a Morgan Stanley themed geofilter.

Snapchat’s widely known for attracting younger users, which makes it a great place for companies to engage with the next generation of workers. In fact, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs have also used the platform for recruitment purposes. One hopes this isn’t a case of channel-for-channel’s sake, something Shell’s Global Head of Digital and Social Media Americo Campos Silva warned against earlier this week at London’s Social Media Week (#SMWLDN) which FTI attended throughout the week (more on that later). Equally importantly, with investors keen for Snapchat to catch on outside of its core millennial demographic, will the app – like Facebook before it – lose its younger audience to another platform?
FACEBOOK AD CLAMPDOWN

Facebook has taken some flak recently from advertisers and watchdogs. Concerns over which publishers it allows to make money from its network, and the type of content allowed to be distributed have turned a spotlight on Facebook, and on Wednesday it announced significant steps aimed at addressing the concerns.

VP of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson announced that the social platform would be introducing new standards governing the type of content which can host ads (one might remember the crisis YouTube faced earlier this year where organisations pulled budgets after ads appeared alongside extremist content). There will also be more rigorous pre- and post-campaign reporting to help advertisers identify suitable publishers and confirm their content appeared in relevant (and reputationally safe) places.

Greater reporting is almost always a good thing, although let’s resist the urge to measure everything (a little #SMWLDN take away from SOCIALDEVIANT’s Linda Johnson for you). Ultimately, we think this was a required step for Facebook to take considering the potential downside for the platform (which, with Google, accounts for two fifths of a predicted $205bn online advertising industry). Delivering much-needed reassurance to advertisers and publishers will likely cement Facebook’s stake in the online paid media landscape, one which is predicted to overtake TV this coming year as communications strategies should place paid within the strategic mix rather than purely as a distribution afterthought.

 

INFLUENCERS IN THE DOCK

Forgive us for repeating ourselves again, but back in June (a simpler, sunnier time) we talked about the possible impact that regulation could have on the role that influencers play in communications campaigns. Well wouldn’t you know it, the American governing body the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has only gone and prosecuted individual influencers for the first time ever…

Now to be strictly accurate, these influencers from the online gaming space (the catchily-titled Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and Thomas “Syndicate” Cassell) were also owners of the online gambling service they were promoting. Settling out of court, the FTC published an extensive if wordy rulebook on how to use influencers legitimately and transparently. Considering 40% of publishers still don’t adhere to required regulations around native advertising, there may be stronger enforcement required.

So how do we avoid following TmarTn and Syndicate down the wrong path? Ultimately, as Johnson & Johnson Influencer Manager Chris Lambert outlined on Thursday at #SMWLDN (last plug, we promise), being honest with audiences is the best approach. Label sponsored posts clearly (platforms like Instagram are now helping with this), and don’t try to kid an already-savvy and increasingly-sceptical public.
ALSO THIS WEEK

  • Meet the iPhone X, Apple’s new high-end handset – [WIRED]
  • Snapchat is bringing virtual Bitmojis into the real world – [Business Insider]
  • Users can buy Instagram verified badges on the black market [Independent]
  • Facebook Messenger is now about as popular as WhatsApp – [CNBC]

AND FINALLY

If you were to ask me to name three grime artists, I probably wouldn’t say Skepta, Stormzy, you know? Wiley, Kano, Lethal Bizzle. Dame Judy Dench.

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