The Guardian reports that Facebook has lost 6 advertisers in two days after their ads ran on pages promoting the racist and reactionary British National Party. Jemima Kiss says that the advertisers are Virgin Media, Halifax, the Prudential, the AA (the UK version of the AAA), Vodafone and First Direct. We’re assuming that the pullout only affects Facebook’s UK operations, but if we hear back from the Facebook folks we’ll update/clarify. (Non)update: Facebook’s Meredith Chin says the company has no comment.
This is the worst-case scenario for social networks, the ones that sceptics have talked about for years — what happens if marketers find their ads next to noxious or illegal content? But it doesn’t seem to have been a problem for Fox Interactive and its MySpace operation, and presumably as Facebook grows it will quickly figure out a solution to this as well.