Social media behemoth Facebook has fired back at claims by Southern Cross Austereo’s CEO that it is using its regional events to warn SMEs off using radio as an advertising channel.
Speaking to Fairfax, Grant Blackley (pictured above) said Facebook was persuading the “goldmine” of SMEs in regional areas to “take all your money off radio” and that the social media platform is “the only thing that exists in the world” to advertise on.
“I think it’s critical the government considers the impact of what they’re saying to that group [of smaller businesses],” he said.
Blackley told Fairfax that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) should be looking into this as part of its world-first inquiry into digital players such as Facebook and Google.
However, Facebook has denied including any information or advice on the usage, effectiveness or delivery of other free-to-use services or advertising channels, including radio, at its regional Boost Your Business events, which kicked off in Mackay in February.
“Since 2011, we’ve invested in training, technology and tools to help Australians connect and share safely and successfully online, whether through Boost Your Business training or online safety workshops with students, parents and educators,” A Facebook spokesperson told B&T.
“Our COO, Sheryl Sandberg, announced in November 2017 that we would increase our investment and focus specifically on building the capacity of regional Australian communities to participate and thrive in the digital economy.
“The Community Boost program aims to support all members of the local community – from youth and parents, to small businesses owners, not-for-profits and local media – by sharing tools, tips and advice to help regional Australians and local communities engage safely and successfully online.
“The workshops are suited to everyone, and equip people with skills the they need to ‘boost’ their community – whether they’re looking for in-person training about setting up a Facebook page or group, want to explore a career in technology, or simply use Facebook and want advice on how to stay safe online and engage with the local community.”