Social media experts and even the platforms themselves stress the importance of landing pages in campaigns by brands, but this might not be what they had in mind.
Matt Karolian, director of new initiatives at The Boston Globe and general manager of the newspaper’s marijuana project, shared the tweet below Sunday, depicting a sponsored Facebook post from direct-to-consumer men’s health company Roman that linked to an article on website How to Heal That touting Roman as its “personal favorite” for treatment options for erectile disfunction.
Roman’s website features the following categories: erectile dysfunction, hair loss, premature ejaculation, cold sores, genital herpes, quit smoking and enlarged prostate.
Karolian used Whois to determine that How to Heal That is owned by Roman, meaning that the company was linking to an article it wrote to praise itself.
Facebook has not responded to a request for comment about whether the sponsored post from Roman violated its advertising terms and services, but it appeared to run afoul of its rules on low-quality or disruptive content, in which the following example of content the social networks considers to be low-quality was offered: “Link to landing pages that include significant and original content that is relevant to your ad.”
The situation was rectified by Monday morning, with the following disclaimer prominently displayed at the bottom of the How to Heal That homepage: “This site is owned and operated by Roman Health Ventures Inc., makers of Roman and Zero. Posts that are sponsored will be clearly marked as advertisements or sponsored posts for Roman.”
A similar disclaimer was added to the about section of the How to Heal That Facebook page.
A spokesperson for Roman said, “Matt’s tweet was helpful feedback. How to Heal That is an editorial property about health. While that post had always been marked ‘Sponsored’ at the top, we have added additional disclosures in the website footer and at the bottom of the ad to emphasize that Roman operates the website and that this is a sponsored advertisement.”