Facebook loses government adverts in BNP row

Rotating ads onto BNP pages forces official agency's hand

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As if the recent advertising losses suffered by Facebook when Vodafone and others withdrew their advertising weren't enough, a UK government body has added to the web upstart's woes by following suit.

Upon learning that some of its public-service ads were being shown on Facebook pages belonging to the British National Party (BNP), the Central Office of Information (COI) decided to suspend advertising on the site.

Temporary pause

According to Reuters , spokesman Jamie Galloway said, "Advertising has been paused temporarily on any websites that have not provided COI ... with the further assurances our bookings require."

The COI has one of the UK's largest advertising budgets. The government body was formed immediately after the Second World War and is responsible for many classics including the Green Cross Code Man.

It claimed to be satisfied with the way its ads are delivered on other sites but not with the Facebook method of randomly rotating advertising across its members' pages.