I recently blogged about the Facebook ads called “Get Your Obama Check.” Those appear to be gone already, but they have been replaced by new ones with a similar message. These ads are called “Ball out of control at 23” “I make more than my dad” “Make $169 between classes” and a bunch of others. They all feature really nice cars or just wads of cash. Here are a few of the captions from the ads:
Make insane amounts of cash during class. Stop being broke.I know its not fair. Hes been working his whole life. Its easy.You can afford this car. Its easy.Stop being lazy. Google makes you $5000 per month.
Again, they all link to the same “blog” complete with fake replies. They all claim they only want $1 for delivery of their “info packet.”
Facebook must be really, really, really desperate for revenue if they are accepting this type of ad. Facebook must not be able to get any reputable company to pay for CPM ads because, by now, everyone knows about their abysmal click through rates and the CPCs are pretty high for most college campuses. That’s another tipoff that these sites must be scams or promise more than they deliver. If they can afford to the CPC necessary to get play on the University of Wisconsin network, they must be paying at a bare minimum $.10 CPC. Most likely its higher, closer to $.50, as that’s what I have paid in the past.
I understand that revenue is revenue, no matter the source, but Facebook should not be known for sending its customers to shady, get rich quick schemes. Even if they are legal, I would not want to be known as a company to be dealing with these types of companies. I wouldn’t want to direct my customers to these sites.
It will be interesting to see if these ads will generate a backlash eventually. I’m thinking it will, as these types of ads bring Facebook into the MySpace realm, a move that Facebook has been trying to fight since its beginnings.
I just noticed some of those very ads on Facebook. I also just came across one that combines the Obama stuff with more sketchy offers: “Free Obama Macbook”. (the link: http://www.chooseyourskin.com/macbook/index.php) Brilliant. However, reading through their terms and conditions briefly shows that there is in fact no such thing as a Free Obama Macbook.
You have to earn enough ‘action points’ first “..by clicking on a link provided on the CYS website.” I see what they did there. The process: You sign up for a bunch of rando (potentially not free) offers. Free Obama Macs take the commission from these 3rd party sites because they referred you, and as long as you sign up for enough of these offers to get Free Obama Macs enough commission money, they might then send you a free Macbook. This is a rather interesting business model.