What Was Said: More news about Facebook BS
The toughest time I have writing this newsletter every week is finding a new negative image for Facebook. It's a constant challenge.
In my book BadMen, I showed how Facebook underhandedly manipulates ads to look like real content and creates phony endorsements to promote its clients. This week, Facebook used its disreputable techniques to promote itself.
Facebook provided a wonderful example of how slimy and untrustworthy they are. It all started on January 8th when a glowing article about Facebook entitled “How Facebook Is Helping Ensure the Integrity of the 2020 Election” appeared in Teen Vogue.
Anyone with a brain who read the "article" could tell in a second it was not journalism, it was horseshit. When people started questioning the "article," an editor's note suddenly appeared stating, "This is sponsored editorial content." Sponsored editorial content is the bullshit phrase used to hide the fact that it's a paid ad disguised as journalism.
Then the editor's note suddenly disappeared from the article.
Then a byline by a freelance writer suddenly appeared.
Then the freelance writer said she didn't write the article.
Then the byline disappeared.
Then someone on Teen Vogue's Twitter account asked whether it was a real article or an ad. Teen Vogue replied "Literally, idk" (I don't know.) Then that tweet suddenly disappeared.
Then Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg posted the "article" on her Facebook page saying “Great Teen Vogue piece about five incredible women protecting elections on Facebook."
Then Teen Vogue suddenly removed the whole article.
Then The New York Times reported that the "article" was an ad.
As of this writing, journalists trying to get a comment from Sandberg about whether she knew the Teen Vogue "story" was bullshit have gone unanswered.
No, you can't make this shit up. — Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian
I went on a very long walkabout at an event called Pepcom, looking for interesting new products — watch the result, below.
Washington Post: Coolest and weirdest CES 2020 gadgets
An advertising campaign that is taking issue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is getting a lot of attention on social media and promoting a new political party that wants independence from Canada for the Wild Rose Country. — CTV News
The Supreme Court of Canada has blown the whistle on a CRTC decision that allowed Canadian viewers to watch American commercials during the Super Bowl broadcast.
In its ruling, the high court said the Commission strayed beyond the scope of its authority under the Broadcasting Act when it took action to ensure the U.S. ads could be seen. — CP
The pubcaster is asking the CRTC to allow the network to decrease the number of hours certain programming must be broadcast on television, and permit more of that content to be shown on digital services.
As part of the licence renewal, the network is proposing that it would increase its overall hours of mandated programming, but be allowed to broadcast less of that on television and more through digital devices.
For example, CBC Toronto has an obligation to air up to 14 hours a week of local programming on television. CBC is proposing 12 hours a week on television, but would commit to 14.5 hours a week overall. — CBC News
The broadcasting company said Friday that its first-quarter profit rose as revenue ticked up, though combined profit for its television, radio and corporate segments fell.
Revenue rose to $467.9M from $467.5M in the year-ago period.
Television revenue rose to $43M from $426.2M, while radio revenue declined to $37.9M from $41.3M. — Dave Sebastian, MarketWatch
The influencer marketing has expanded into an $8B business, but it comes with a risk if the cohorts lose their enthusiasm for a brand. — Financial Times
Everyone knows Donald Trump is rich. But how about the 25 people jockeying to replace him as president? Forbes dug into the details—examining financial disclosure statements, scouring local real estate records and calculating pension benefits—to figure out the finances of the 2020 candidates. — Dan Alexander, Chase Peterson-Withorn and Michela Tindera, Forbes