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Diary: Employers begin cracking down on Facebook-mania

It has unquantifiable assets. It can't be billed to clients. It eats into agency man-hours, yet is mysteriously airbrushed off the time-sheet at the end of each day. Yes, even Diary is tiring slightly of Facebook.

So, it seems, are employers. Recent data from Sophos suggests that more than half of UK employers, including LloydsTSB, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs, have blocked access to the site.

But has Facebook's grim reaper set his sights on adland? Last week, Campaign Towers was inundated with calls explaining how management, spurred on by their City counterparts, were taking steps to block the site once and for all. Leo Burnett was among the alleged. Diary later heard the plug had been pulled across the Publicis Groupe.

Compelled to investigate, Diary hit the phones. But casual enquiries turned into conversations of cloaks and daggers. Bosses shifted uncomfortably, and nervous laughter, silences, pregnant pauses and hang-ups prevailed like a dictatorial state under fire from inside.

Burnett got its big hitters to deny all claims. Later, Diary reached a senior source at Publicis who claimed to know where the confusion may have stemmed from. "We were rerouting our servers from London to Paris," he confirmed. "That created a temporary glitch where Facebook was not available for about ten minutes, but there is certainly no official ban."

If your agency has banned Facebook, let us know in confidence at campaign@haymarket.com.

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