SCA’s Grant Blackley questions Facebook push into regional areas

‘Facebook’s claims don’t withstand close scrutiny.’

SCA chief executive Grant Blackley believes that Facebook is misrepresenting the effectiveness of radio and television in a series of ‘Community Boost’ visits to regional towns this year.

As part of the program, beginning in Mackay – with further events scheduled for Margaret River, Bunbury and Busselton – Facebook discussed doing business online, privacy and other digital matters with locals.

Blackley has told radioinfo:

“Facebook are making their way around regional areas, clients have said that they have attended their seminars.  The more sophisticated businesses know that it’s just another advertising platform but some are much more vulnerable.”

Blackley says Facebook is telling potential advertisers to take all their money off radio and that the claims made by the social media platform “do not withstand scrutiny.”

“If small and medium-sized businesses accept at face value the claims that Facebook makes about the engagement and size of its audience, there is a risk that they will move a disproportionate amount of their advertising onto Facebook.  

“Facebook’s claims don’t withstand close scrutiny, especially when compared to commercial radio’s robust, well-understood and independently audited measurement systems.”

Facebook denies it has told advertisers to move their money away from traditional media companies and onto the social media platform.

Facebook’s director of policy for Australia and New Zealand, Mia Garlick, told Mumbrella: “Absolutely not.. In fact, we recognise the value of radio as an advertising platform, which is why we are taking out paid advertisements for this initiative. Many small businesses in the regional communities that we’ve been to have told us that they see value in both traditional (TV, print and radio) and online advertising channels – and, we think that’s great.

She says 350,000 Australian small businesses spend less than $100 each on Facebook.

 Blackley says the reach provided by advertising on radio and television “is core to a business building and maintaining brand recognition, which is a crucial element in consumer buying behaviour.  78% of people say they click on a name they have heard of, be it on Google, Facebook or Instagram, so advertising on radio and TV has never been more important.”


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