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Google+ Ads Unwanted On Facebook?

A web developer, Michael Lee Johnson, has had the nasty surprise of finding out that an advert he placed on social networking website Facebook to get more followers on Google+, Google's newly released social venture, had been cancelled by Facebook.

The advert called for those "lucky enough" to have a Google+ account to add Johnson, who calls himself an Internet Geek, App Developer and Technical Virtuoso, as a friend.

As with Apple, Facebook doesn't like it when competitors' products are plugged on its ad system, even through third parties, and it is something that is spelt out in its terms of service.

To add insult to injury, other campaigns run by Johnson were cancelled by Facebook as well. Cnet's Chris Matyszczyk (opens in new tab) had a closer look at Facebook's T&C's and found out that three clauses COULD have been called upon by Facebook to justify its decision to can Johnson's offending advert.

In clause 6a, it says "We may refuse ads at any time for any reason, including our determination that they promote competing products or services or negatively affect our business or relationship with our users."

But cancelling all of Johnson's campaigns appears to be a little extreme and Matyszczyk rightly suggests that Johnson may sue Facebook for the "emotional distress" and "damage to his reputation".

Not surprisingly, Google doesn't seem to be that strict when it comes to mentioning or promoting its competitors either in organic search or in adsense.

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.