Coke, Tesco and MediaCom join Facebook advisory board

Coca-Cola, Tesco and MediaCom are among the brands and agencies who have been invited to join Facebook's first UK marketing Advisory Board in what is being seen as a move to boost its reputation among marketers and agencies and drive advertising spend.

Facebook: invites brands to join advisory board
Facebook: invites brands to join advisory board

The UK Advisory Board will meet approximately four times a year to discuss product development, campaign measurement and insights, and marketing best practices.

A similar US board has existed for sometime and its members include General Motors. However, that wasn't enough to head off the row last year when the automaker pulled its advertising budget from the social network after Facebook rebuffed GM's request for bigger and higher-impact ads.

This all added to the sense among some marketers that Facebook wasn't prepared to work with advertisers to make marketing work better on Facebook, leading one billionaire investor to say that Facebook was driving brands away.

Notably, GM recently announced it was making a small return to Facebook. This possibly suggested the tide might be turning for the social network.

The launch of the board follows some questioning Facebook's role as an advertising medium. Most notably the WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell who said (again) recently that "to my mind is not an advertising medium. It is a branding medium".

The brands on the board represent some of the UK's biggest marketing spenders. They are Tesco, Unilever, EE, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola. Notably there is no motoring brand represented. From the agency side all of the UK's biggest media agency groups are represented.

The agencies are MediaCom, ZenithOptimedia, Omnicom, Mindshare, Starcom MediaVest and Aegis.

Facebook said the UK Advisory Board would help enhance working relationships with agencies and brands and will be headed from Facebook by Christian Hernandez and Stephen Haines.

Facebook said: "We are always working to improve the service we deliver to marketers. That means being in constant contact with our industry partners, listening to their needs, and working together to help make their marketing efforts on Facebook more effective and efficient.

"The formation of the UK Advisory Board is the latest step in our ongoing commitment to the country's marketers and our desire to give them the support they need to get the best results on Facebook."

The announcement of the board follows Facebook creating industry-specific teams, with specialised knowledge across different fields, including telecom, FMCG, automotive, and fashion.

Brand Representatives

  • Matt Atkinson – Tesco

  • Sarah Mansfield – Unilever

  • Spencer McHugh – EE

  • Jason Richards – PepsiCo

  • Jon Woods – Coca-Cola

Agency Representatives

  • Karen Blackett – MediaCom

  • Phillippa Brown – Omnicom

  • Mark Creighton – Mindshare

  • Pippa Glucklich – Starcom MediaVest

  • Rob Horler – Aegis

  • Gerry Boyle – ZenithOptimedia

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