As most of you will know, on Facebook, you can set up wee ads. You put in a pic, a few lines of text and a link to your product. The cost varies, it works on a bidding system and you can choose to pay by page impression or click through, but it’s not inexpensive.
Which makes me wonder who is paying for this ad pleading for people to join the pro-Wellywood Facebook group.
The group has 1,500 members, while the anti-Wellywood sign group that doesn’t want a tacky sign ruining the hillside has 15,000. Frankly, that over-represents the pro-camp in my personal experience – I have found just one person who was mildly pro the sign and dozens who are against it.
The pro-Wellywood group has the bland artificial feel of a piece of astro-turfing, probably from Prendergast or the airport judging by the content. And it stands to reason that the ad is paid for by the creators of the group it’s advertising. Which makes me think the airport or the council are paying for the pro-Wellywood Facebook ads. I drafted a similar ad and Facebook said it would cost up to $100 a day.
Paying for an ad is a move that smacks of desperation (‘please, join my Facebook group, please’). Clearly, the people behind the sign are desperate to rescue this public-relations disaster and are too pig-headed to back down in the face of overwhelming public opposition.
Facebook groups are a great way to gauge public feeling on an issue (Save Radio NZ now over 20,000!) but paying money to try to get people to try to join your astro-turf group, that’s kind of sad.
And if it is ratepayer money that’s being used, that’s just mad.