Facebook Ads Vandalised Amid Complaints About TV Spots

Facebook's 'fake news' billboards messages altered by vandals.

What you need to know
  • Facebook has recently launched a big advertising campaign to win back the trust of Australians
  • Several bus shelter advertisements have been vandalised to say things like "data misuse is our friend"
  • Facebook is on a global redemption mission after it's Cambridge Analytica data breach
  • The social media company was also forced to change it's local television advertisements

Facebook's apology campaign in Australia hasn't had a smooth run.

The social media giants' advertisements have been targeted by vandals in Sydney's CBD.

Bus shelter billboards with the messages -- "Fake accounts are not our friends" and "Fake news is not our friend" -- have been tampered with vandals painting over the word 'not'.

In late June, Facebook rolled out a major advertising campaign across Australia in an attempt to reassure users that the platform can be trusted and will improve.

The national Here Together initiative seeks to address issues of online safety, privacy and the brand's integrity.

It comes after Facebook admitted that more than 310,000 Australians could have have had their data improperly shared in the Cambridge Analytica breach.

The eight-week marketing campaign kicked off in late June, and has already been rolled out in the US and UK.

On Tuesday, the social media behemoth was forced to remove the term "fake news" from a television commercial to comply with advertising guidelines.

Free TV Australia submitted the commercial for review, arguing it contained several elements that would bring it into the scope of the political marketing. This means it would need to carry certain messaging at the end of  the advert to explain this.

Rather than adding a tag to the advertisement -- which would classify it as a political ad -- Facebook decided to remove the words ‘fake news’.

This Facebook ad is running online, but had to remove words 'fake news' for Australian TV and radio

However, the ad is still allowed to run on all other media without the requirement for a political back announce.

“This is just another example of commercial television broadcasters being subject to outdated rules and regulations that do not apply to other platforms, and which impede our ability to effectively compete in the modern media environment," Free TV Australia CEO Bridget Fair told bandt.

In Australia, Facebook is the subject of competition commission inquiry. The ACCC's  inquiry into Google and Facebook’s impact on Australian news and advertising is well underway.

It's preliminary findings will be released later this year ahead of the final report being submitted before in June 2019.

There are also reports that the Federal government will be releasing a discussion paper that proposes a new tax on digital giants such as Facebook and Google.