Facebook and brands: The rules and regulations for brands on Facebook

FaceBook-iconby Tony Fannin, CEO/Partner, BE Branded  |

Since many marketers use or associate with Facebook, I thought providing a brief summary of Facebook policies for brands would be useful. This comes courtesy of Winston & Strawn, LLP, a law firm in Chicago. A partner of the firm, Brian Heidelberger, took the time to read the full terms and policies and provided an overview summary that is concise and helpful.

Terms governing your brand page – 
• Brands may:
– Post or link to a poliy about what content it will remove
– What user actions may cause Brand to band the user
• Brands may NOT:
– threaten legal action
– Claim rights to user content posted on their page

Cover photo on your brand page – 
• Brands can NOT include:
– Price or purchase information
– Contact information
– References to Facebook features or actions
– Call to action

Conducting Promotions (contests, sweepstakes) – 
• Must be “administered” in a Facebook platform application (collecting enries, conducting drawings, judging, notifying winners)
• App can not include features found on the main page, such as a “Like” button
• Game rules must include:
– A release of Facebook
– Disclaimer of affiliation
– Notice that entrant is providing personal information to the Brand and not to Facebook
• Must notify winners via their email
• Must  have your own private policy

Do’s and Don’ts of conducting promotions – 
• Brand may NOT use any native Facebook functionality as a method of entry:
– Prohibited: “Like our page to enter”
– Allowed: “Like our page and then enter”
– Prohibited: “Post a photo on our page to enter”
– Allowed: “Post a photo on our app to enter”
–Prohibited: “We’ll randomly select a Facebook fan of the day to win a prize.”
– Allowed: “We’ll randomly select a Facebook fan of the day (no prize)”

Collecting personal information (PI) – 
• Brands must
– Give notice that entrant is providing PI to the Brand and NOT to Facebook
– Have their own privacy policy with URL on its canvas or web site in the Developer App privacy field
• Must gain consent of user before collecting
• Must only collect PI on app, not on their Facebook main page
• Brand may NOT:
– Use concepts that undermine Facebook (encouraging users to remove friends, take over profiles, tag anything other than real people)
– Automatically post user PI upon submission. Brands must obtain consent using check box explaining content will be shared

Making offers
• Brands MUST:
– Comply with laws and disclose restrictions
– Communicate with any participating merchant over offer made by the Brand relating to such merchant
– Not use Facebook’s offer creator to offer the equivalent of a gift card, gift certificate or stored value card

Referral based rewards
• Brands may NOT:
– Directly tie incentives to the use of its social channels (rewarding for posting a stream story or sending a request)
• Brands MAY indirectly tie to the potential in-app reward

Permitted indirect tie incentive
• Incentive based on the number of friends that accept invite
– No rewards for sending, only potential to earn rewards if the user has friends who accept the invite

Place and “Like” incentives
• Places – Check in
– Brands MAY incentivize users to check-in places
– Brands may NOT use check-in to register users for a promotion
• Like button – Rewarding fans
– Brands MAY give incentives for “liking” provided the incentive is open to all new and existing users who Like your page
• Permitted incentives
– Coupons/rebates, exclusive content, eligibility to enter a promotion, donating to a charity based on number of page likes

Sponsored stories
• User “likes” a company, checks-in at one of its stores or performs certain other actions member’s picture/name appears as ad
• Facebook allows minors to opt out completely

Referencing Facebook in advertising
• Brands MAY:
– Make truthful references about presence on Facebook
• Say “Like our page” or “Become a fan by clicking Like on our page” (do not use “friend”)
• Brands may NOT:
– Imply endorsement by Facebook
– Link to pages other than the Facebook.com login page or your Brand page
– Do not use Facebook as a verb (Facebooking)

Use of Facebook logos and marks in advertising
• Brands may NOT:
– Use logos in broadcast advertising without permission
– Combine Facebook logos with other IP
– Use the full Facebook logo
– Use the Facebook “Like” button in online advertising
– Modify the “f” in the square logo
• Brands MAY:
– Use the the “Like” button in offline advertising

Use of screenshots in advertising
• Brands may NOT:
• Use screenshots without written permission from Facebook and the user
• Modify screenshots
• Use screenshots of user without consent

That’s about it. I hope you found some useful information you didn’t already know. Remember to “Like” us and win… our appreciation and thanks.



About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

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