U.K.'s BSkyB Suspends Facebook Ad Campaigns

2012-21 REP Mark Zuckerberg H

Facebook's chairman loses $5.6 billion between the company's May 18 IPO at a $38 stock price and its June 4 close at $26.90. Some analysts predict an even further slide.

The pay TV giant, in which Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. owns a 39 percent stake, says one of its ads was placed "adjacent to offensive material."

LONDON - British pay TV giant BSkyB, in which Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. owns a 39 percent stake, has at least temporarily suspended all advertising campaigns on Facebook, citing offensive content that appeared on the social network next to one of its ads.

"We have suspended our advertising on Facebook after one of our adverts was found adjacent to offensive material," BSkyB said. "Such content is clearly unacceptable to Sky and our customers."

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The company didn't provide details about the offensive content on Facebook, led by CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

"We have asked Facebook to devise safeguards to ensure our content does not appear alongside inappropriate material in the future," BSkyB added. "We will review the situation in due course." The Guardian had reported the news just before the weekend.

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Nissan and Nationwide last month also stopped Facebook campaigns amid concerns over offensive material, in their cases misogynistic content, the paper said.

"We acted quickly to remove a number of pages that violate our community standards and are also working on ways to scale our internal processes to prevent these issues from arising in future," the Guardian cited a spokeswoman for Facebook as saying. "We are sensitive to the ways in which these issues can impact our partners and other users, and we will continue to work with them."

Ad revenue makes up the vast majority of the social network's revenue. Facebook recently reported $1.24 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2013. For all of 2012, it reported revenue of $5.09 billion, of which $4.28 billion came from ads.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai