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Facebook Cozies Up to Ad Agencies with New Creative Council



Facebook just released the details on two new programs, The Creative Council and Facebook Studio Edge, which they say “underscore how vital the agency community is to what’s possible on Facebook.”

How nice for them.

The Creative Council is made up of 14 agency execs who have agreed to take time away from driving their staff into the ground (hey, I watch The Pitch) to help make Facebook a better place for advertisers. Now, since this is a site called Marketing Pilgrim and advertising is a part of marketing, you’d think I’d be excited by this venue.

I’m not.

In my opinion, if that means anything to anybody, Facebook is going the wrong way. I get why they’re doing it. There’s big money in big advertising. If Kraft wants to take over all of Facebook so everyone’s profile has a macaroni noodle for a smile, then hey, grab the cash and make it so. I don’t have a problem with Facebook turning a profit.

But Facebook is for the people, by the people, right? It’s one of the places a small company can make a big noise with little money and a lot of smarts. That’s the magic of social media – so why are we involving the big boys?

I think Facebook’s Creative Council should include a couple of homegrown YouTube stars, an independent publisher who cracked the market, a band manager, an artist, a cheese maker, a guy who biked across the country on a unicycle to raise money for charity. Those are creative people. Those are people who can turn nothing into something and sell it to you wrapped in a big red ribbon.

Look, I’ve got nothing against agencies. Those folks work hard and they do a great job entertaining me during the breaks on my favorite TV show but Facebook shouldn’t be about them. They have resources. George and Gracie Dunklemeir who own a bakery in Small Town, USA — they don’t have resources. They’re the ones who need the help and yes, there’s no money in it, directly, but I believe that kind of karma comes back twofold.

Figure it this way, Facebook could do with the publicity that says they helped the Dunklemeirs double their profits and save the family farm.

Maybe what they should do is put their Creative Council to work on that. Match up the guys from McCann with a group of struggling artists and see what they can do. Come on, anybody can sell McDonalds and Coca-Cola, but it takes a real genius to sell an unknown author. Creative simply doesn’t mean what it used to.

I will give Facebook some points for Facebook Studio Edge,

[Facebook Studio Edge is] a new learning and recognition program on the Facebook Studio site that keeps agencies up to speed on Facebook’s latest products and best practices. Individuals can take 10-15 minute interactive courses on topics covering Pages, apps, and ads. In conjunction with the launch of Studio Edge, more features are being added to the Facebook Studio site, including a directory that highlights personal as well as overall agency listings and that showcases both Facebook creative work and achievements earned via Studio Edge.

Some points, because it’s a learning tool but it’s still aimed at agencies. And can I just add here, who is working with an agency that doesn’t know how to put together a Facebook Page in the first place? Are there agencies that are that far behind the times?

Facebook, I want to love ya, but you’re making it tough here. My heart belongs to the small and solo business owner and I think you could be doing more to help them get ahead. It may not be as lucrative a deal as working with the top brands in the US, but the company you help today, could be the top brand of tomorrow so watch where you step.

What do you think about Facebook catering to agencies? Good news? Bad news or no news at all?