Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

The Facebook Movie Will Not Be Using Facebook to Market the Facebook Movie

You might think a huge target audience and golden marketing opportunity for a high-profile Hollywood movie on Facebook, titled “The Social Network,” would be the 500 million members of Facebook.

Maybe not so much.

“Facebook’s advertising guidelines don’t allow ads to reference the company unless Facebook has cooperated with the object of the ad,” said Steve Elzer, SVP of Media Relations for Sony (SNE) movie unit Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, in response to a BoomTown query. “So, we won’t be advertising there given these parameters.”

And reference Facebook the film surely does, as you can see from this capture image from its Web site, above, which mimics the social networking site’s look and has a big picture of the actor playing co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg looking like he just was indicted for doing something very naughty.

The tag line: “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.”

Although the film is not coming out until October, the makers of “The Social Network” are now in the market making plans to tout the controversial movie about the founding of Facebook.

That would include looking for a series of advertising buys online–including inquiries to market it on this site–related to the company, such as linking the movie with topic words such as “privacy.”

No wonder the privacy-challenged Facebook is not having any of it, especially since Zuckerberg publicly expressed distaste for the film in a recent onstage interview at the eighth D: All Things Digital conference.

He also told me in a conversation there that he dreads its release, because of inaccuracies in the book it was based on.

It’s a good instinct by the Silicon Valley wunderkind, since the trailer for the film was recently released (you can see it below) and it portrays Zuckerberg as a conniving punk.

A genius, too, but definitely a punk.

In fact, the trailer uses that word exactly, in a scary manner, as I wrote:

“Using only portentous voices, big menacing words and doom-filled music, it gives a whole new meaning to poking.

For example, the lines, ‘The site got 2,200 hits within two hours? No, 22,000…,’ sounds like someone knew what Facebook did last summer–probably violated the privacy of the wrong hostel host––and is coming to take some body parts.”

Facebook PR honcho Elliot Schrage confirms that Facebook won’t be taking any advertising dollars from the Facebook movie.

“My understanding is that they asked us for our ad guidelines and decided not to advertise on us after receiving them,” he said. “I don’t think they ever submitted ad copy for us to review.”

Here’s the video of the trailer, so you can see why:


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