Is Facebook advertising prejudiced against agencies?

Recently Facebook starting a new campaign to encourage small businesses to get more fans on their page with “$50 in Free Advertising from Facebook Small Business Boost”.  Emails were sent out and if you registered in the program, and were accepted, you could receive the $50.  To redeem, they stated, “Click on “Claim Your $50 now to redeem your free $50. After you’ve created an ad, we’ll automatically apply it to your account”.  Sounds easy enough, right?

Well, not for everyone.  Although some of our clients were accepted into the program, when we tried to apply the promotion to their ad costs, we were declined.  Why?  Because it was another admin on the page they were targeting.  So, although its the same business, same page, they are discriminating the admins.  Not cool!

Here’s a look into how Facebook deals with this kind of issue.  Phone calls, nope.  Just an email that they can easily dismiss.  What really makes me mad, is the only reason many of our clients are advertising on Facebook, is because of our recommendations and management.

Step 1. Use the “Contact Us” form to contact the Facebook Global Marketing Solutions Team.

Subject: Facebook Ads & Sponsored Stories: Help and Tips

What types of questions related to your Ads or Sponsored Stories can we help you with?: Costs and Payment Please select one: I have a question not listed above Please describe your question or issue with as much detail as possible: We manage ads for various clients. Recently you sent out emails for $50 credits. Our clients have taken you up on this and are asking us to apply the credit to their invoices. However, it looks like it only took the first $50 credit for the http://www.facebook.com/client1 page. We have created new ads for these other pages, and are just looking to apply their credit: http://www.facebook.com/client2  and http://www.facebook.com/client3. Your help is appreciated.

Step 2. Receive an email directing us to a different form:

From: sales-support+bgttggg.aea5nuq4usfa4@support.facebook.com [mailto:sales-support+bgttggg.aea5nuq4usfa4@support.facebook.com]

Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 4:05 PM
Subject: Re: Facebook Ads & Sponsored Stories: Help and Tips

Hi Sam,

Thanks for reaching out to us regarding your client’s coupon situation. In order to provide you the best support possible, please submit your information at your earliest convenience through the form below:

http://www.facebook.com/help/contact_us.php?id=144829575575175

We appreciate your patience in taking this extra step. After submitting this form, a Facebook Payments Specialist will respond shortly. You will hear from us within 24 hours during the business week but may experience a longer wait over the weekend.

Thank you again for your time!

Best,

Ashley, Facebook Ads Specialist, Facebook

Step 3. Complete the form and wait for a response.

Step 4. Here’s the response:

From: payments-support+mgivrqn.aea5k7cecbirs@support.facebook.com [mailto:payments-support+mgivrqn.aea5k7cecbirs@support.facebook.com]

Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 6:09 PM
Subject: Re: Advertising Coupon Inquiry – I am unable to add a coupon to my account

Hi Sam,

Thank you for your email.

The recent $50 credit is for a program called the Small Business Boost. The goal of this promotion is to encourage small business owners to use Facebook Ads for their business. In keeping with this goal, only one page per user is eligible to enter the promotion.

Unfortunately we are not able to activate multiple coupons for the same promotion on one advertising account. If your clients each received coupons via email for their individual registration, they are encouraged to activate these coupons on their own accounts. We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience.

Thanks for contacting Facebook,

Cameron, Payment Operations, Facebook

Step 5: When I am out of options, the only thing left is to go public. So, we notified the clients and emailed back Cameron.  I actually don’t expect a response.  Facebook is too big and although they say they want to help small businesses, I guess it must be OTHER small businesses.

Something else I found interesting.  For the first time in two years of advertising on Facebook, this morning, one of our ads was “Disapproved” (although its been running for months without an issue).  Coincidence or a slap on the hand for trying to talk back to Facebook?

From: nxtConcepts Support

Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2012 9:09 AM

To: ‘The Facebook Team’

Cc: ‘client 1 and client 2

Subject: RE: Advertising Coupon Inquiry – I am unable to add a coupon to my account

Hello Cameron,

First, thanks for responding. Second, you wrote, ” The goal of this promotion is to encourage small business owners to use Facebook Ads for their business”, that’s exactly what we are doing. These are seasonal businesses that are planning on stopping advertising. This incentive gives them one other reason to continue.

Third, where does it state explicitly that a certain login must only use the promotion? As far as I can see and tell, it has to do with the page itself. That’s exactly what we are trying to do.

I am copying these clients to make sure they are aware that it is YOUR policy and YOUR not honoring the promotion that is the issue. We have worked with Facebook for quite a while, and although we do not have clients that you consider “prime” with ads over $100,000 a month, we believe every advertiser and campaign is important. We just wish you did too.

I’ll make sure that every one of my over 11,000 Twitter followers and Facebook friends and fans are aware of this too.

Samantha Rufo

President, nxtConcepts

Have you had a similar issue?  I’d love to hear about it.

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