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Vodafone, BNP don't mix on Facebook

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: The social networking Website Facebook has just lost a high-profile sponsor — British cell phone company Vodafone has pulled its ads from the site. That's because they appeared alongside a far-right political party's manifesto.

From London, Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: Vodafone executives were aghast. The company has carefully nurtured a friendly, open-minded image — and there they were, sharing cyberspace with an extreme right-wing political group.

The BNP, or British National Party, is widely seen here as xenophobic. Ita€™s been frequently accused of racism.

Vodafone pulled its ads this morning, saying that its policy was to avoid any political affiliations.

Other advertisers are though likely to follow suit. Facebook has declined to comment.

The incident underlines a dilemma for companies like Vodafone — they want to reach the young audiences that such Websites attract, but cannot always control the context in which their advertising appears.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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