Author Topic: It's not my fault!!  (Read 2228 times)

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AnaMaria

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It's not my fault!!
« on: September 25, 2013, 09:36:32 PM »
Last week, my cousin took a screenshot of an ad that appeared in her sidebar on facebook.  The ad reads, "Lose pounds of bellyfat every day with this weird trick, by Health Club X."  Below the slogan is a picture of a nude woman (with her back to the camera) who is literally skin and bone- she probably had to get up off of her deathbed to pose for the picture.  (I'm not sure, but I heard a story about a French fashion model who did one last photoshoot before she died of anorexia, wanting to show the world what goes on in the fashion industry.  This may be one of her photos.)   Needless to say, my cousin was furious, and so was I when I saw the image. 

A friend of my cousin found the facebook page for Health Club X and posted the screenshot of the ad to their wall, saying, "Please tell me this is not really yours.  If it is, please tell me how you think this is appropriate."  Myself and a few others posted comments (professional-sounding, no vulgarity or accusations) in agreement with him.  About an hour later we looked back at the page and saw the wall had been deactivated so our post (along with all previous posts) were no longer visible. 

At this point, I sent them a private message saying that deactivating their wall did not solve the issue- there was an ad floating around the internet with their business name on it and an image below it that glamorized anorexia.  Today, I received a response: "This is not our ad!"  Literally, that was all it said.

I'm sorry, but does this response remind anyone else of that moment when a parent or teacher enters the room with a crying child or broken object, and the troublemaker immediately screams, "I DIDN'T DO IT!!"  No apology, no promise to take it up with facebook and ask to have the ad removed, nothing denouncing the advertisement.  There facebook page makes no reference to the ad. 

Call me crazy, but my understanding is that when something offensive comes out under your name, even if you were not responsible for posting it, you make some sort of effort to clean it up, and you MAKE SOME SORT OF STATEMENT denouncing it.  I see people do this when their personal social media accounts are compromised ("I am very sorry for what was posted on my account today without my knowledge or consent; I have removed it and changed my password to prevent it from happening again."), or businesses do it when someone uses their logo or name to spread something inappropriate.  Saying "We're sorry," has never translated as, "We are guilty" to me, it just means you empathize with those who were exposed to the inappropriate material and want them to know you don't support the message it carried.

Am I expecting too much by thinking Health Club X should at least post a status update saying they are sorry for the advertisement, they do not condone disordered eating, and they have asked facebook to remove the fake advertisement???

TootsNYC

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Re: It's not my fault!!
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2013, 09:48:29 PM »
Yes, you are.


It's not their ad. What else are they supposed to say? More words would make it more convincing?


Bad enough that someone messed with them; now you're badgering them, etc.

You're not their shareholder, and you're not their customer; they don't owe you that much.
They aren't required to placate you. You've registered the problem--both a warning if someone's messing with them, and censure if it was their own ad.

I don't think a business is required to do those things you list. It might be a smart practice--but I can tell you if I was that business I would never in a million years use the words "I'm sorry" for something I didn't do, no matter what *you* think that phrase means or doesn't mean.

I would absolutely not ever run the risk that someone would hear "I'm sorry," glaze over all the rest, and decide that I'd done it knowingly and on purpose.

You don't like their approach--feel free to continue to not give them your business.
But they haven't broken any universal rule.

Erich L-ster

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Re: It's not my fault!!
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2013, 09:49:44 PM »
Who would pay money to get an ad put up for a business that they have nothing to do with? If it was just a pic someone posted you could see that it might be a photoshop that somebody did as a joke, but a paid for ad? No way.

Yvaine

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Re: It's not my fault!!
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2013, 10:04:11 PM »
Who would pay money to get an ad put up for a business that they have nothing to do with? If it was just a pic someone posted you could see that it might be a photoshop that somebody did as a joke, but a paid for ad? No way.

The ad maker is piggybacking on the reputation of the real health club. Think of the ad as spam--it's the equivalent of an email advertising "real r0l3x watches!" The "weird trick" ads are everywhere and they're bogus.

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2013/07/how_one_weird_trick_conquered_the_internet_what_happens_when_you_click_on.single.html

*inviteseller

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Re: It's not my fault!!
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2013, 10:58:38 PM »
Honestly, I don't know what you expect from the company.  I find a lot of ads offensive and I just file it away as a company I may not want to do business with.  As far as FB ads, I know most of them are spam and just ignore them.  And I agree with the poster that no company will ever take responsibility or say I am sorry, that leaves them open for litigation.

katycoo

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Re: It's not my fault!!
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2013, 01:48:10 AM »
In circumstances like this, I would certainly be giving the company some time to work out what their statement is.  Is it spam, is it an ad actually paid for by their company but by an underling without proper authorisation?  The last thing they want right now is to get their statement wrong.
Cut them some slack.

blarg314

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Re: It's not my fault!!
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2013, 03:17:08 AM »

These ads are a common type of spam. I think it is quite possible  that the ads are the product of an unrelated 3rd party which, by coincidence or not, has used Health Club X in their spam (whether it's a coincidence depends on whether Health Club X is a unique or generic name).

If that is the case, then Health Club X may not actually be able to do much - they might have to go to court to get the maker of the ads to stop posting them, for example. If the name is a more generic one, or one that is not internationally trademarked, or the creators/posters of the ads are not in the US, they may be out of luck.

And in that situation, I don't think it's fair to expect a company to take responsibility for something that they have nothing to do with, or even to provide detailed explanations of why they aren't at fault to people who email them to chastize them for it.

z_squared82

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Re: It's not my fault!!
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2013, 08:59:08 AM »
Additionally, Facebook ads are tricky. I have an Etsy site, and I have seen a picture of my own product in an ad on Facebook, advertising for Etsy. Did I consent to this? Not directly, I must have just not unchecked a necessary box in the Privacy section. Did I have any say over the content? No. Did it cost me money? No. Did it make me money? No.

You've made the company aware. They acknowledged it, although awkwardly. They owe you nothing.

GlitterIsMyDrug

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Re: It's not my fault!!
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2013, 11:23:59 AM »
I feel like sending a message that says "It's not our ad!" is a little unprofessional.

A better way to word it would've been "This ad has been brought to our attention, this is not an ad for us or by us, and we are working to have our name removed from the ad, Thank you", or something like that.

However, I don't see why they should say sorry. They didn't do something wrong. What are they sorry for? That they got caught up in spam advertising? It can be hard to avoid.

In all honesty you were probably person number 362 to complain to them that day and they were sick of saying "We know, it's not ours, we're working on it". They should just release a blanket statement "We've been made aware our name has become attached to spam advertising that promotes unhealthy body image. That is not what we're about, and we did not ok the use of our name in this advertising. We are working to have it removed, blah, blah", just so that they'll stop getting unhappy potential consumers. They should. But they don't have to.

WillyNilly

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Re: It's not my fault!!
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2013, 11:34:48 AM »
The "weird trick" verbiage was the tip off its  spam; surely you have seen hundreds of other "with this one weird trick" ads previously? They are everywhere touting loosing weight, looking younger, whitening teeth, clearing up acne, etc. And they use random photos. They literally have software that scans all the photos on site like Facebook not protected as private and just hoists them for themselves.

Yvaine

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Re: It's not my fault!!
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2013, 11:41:57 AM »
The "weird trick" verbiage was the tip off its  spam; surely you have seen hundreds of other "with this one weird trick" ads previously? They are everywhere touting loosing weight, looking younger, whitening teeth, clearing up acne, etc. And they use random photos. They literally have software that scans all the photos on site like Facebook not protected as private and just hoists them for themselves.

Yeah, there was a dating site that yoinked a picture of a girl who had committed suicide after bullying; I believe Facebook ended up banning the advertiser over that one. This company probably just searched for "fitness" in images and grabbed whatever came up.

lurkerwisp

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Re: It's not my fault!!
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2013, 01:39:28 PM »
It's also possible that there exists a Health Club X in YZ location that just happens to have the same name and is in now way affiliated with the Health Club X you accused.  The ad may (though unlikely, because that kind of spam is common) be legitimate, and just plain honestly not be theirs.  There wouldn't be anything they could do except be honest and say that it's not their ad.

There's a browser extension called adblock that will actually help prevent you from seeing anything like this again.  It makes banner ads just plain not load, so instead of advertisements  you get blocks of empty space.