20 April 2010

Some advertising and a "Facebook, WTF?" [update]

Many of our players suggested that we create a Facebook page for Eternal Lands. After a lot of reluctance, I finally got to it, and it's been pretty popular so far. The address is here, for those of you who are interested: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eternal-Lands/102799149763320

At the same time, I wanted to spend some money on online advertising, and was trying to sample a few sites and advertising networks, to see where we can get the best result for the money. The Project Wonderful network is nice, and we got a lot of views and clicks, especially from The Noob comic, which is right on our target.
I tried Google AdWords, where I managed to get a lot of displays and clicks (about 400 clicks for 30 bucks), but they are low quality clicks, most of the people not creating an account with us.

Then I wanted to see if we can get a better result using the Facebook advertising network. So I created a FB advertiser account, carefully read the rules, and started to create an ad. In my humble and uneducated opinion, the ad was pretty tame. I added my CC info, and waited for the ad to be approved. I got no response over the weekend, then on Monday, I see the ad being rejected, for a violation of their guidelines: "Per section 5 of Facebook's Advertising Guidelines, this content is prohibited from being advertised on Facebook."
Their guidelines are here: http://www.facebook.com/ad_guidelines.php
For the life of me, I can't understand how our game violates that section (or any of the subsections). I took a screenshot:

This got to be one of the must puzzling and WTF moments of the year. I wrote them an e-mail, asking for more info about what part of their guidelines we violated, but I doubt they will respond. Meanwhile, we will use our advertising budget on Google and some other sites. I guess our game (and money) is not good enough for FB.

Got a response from the FB people, just as descriptive and helpful as the original one:

Hi Radu,

Thanks for writing in. Over the past few months, we've received significant user feedback about the quality of ads running on our system. As part of our continued efforts to improve our ads system, we're taking care to ensure that all ads adhere to the high standards that help to uphold the user experience on Facebook. These standards include accurate and truthful representation of the product or service advertised, the disclosure of all relevant consequences of participating in the advertised offer, as well as the protection of all user information received as a result of advertising on Facebook.

As a result, we will not accept ads that we've identified as promoting misleading offers. This includes ads for toolbar and game downloads that may affect the user's computer or browser performance in unexpected or undesirable ways. Please delete any ads that violate this policy within 48 hours in order to bring your account into compliance. We will not allow the creation of any further ads for these types of products or services. We appreciate your cooperation.


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