Westfield Facebook application draws fire

Westfield has drawn criticism over a Facebook application that may be in breach of the social networking site’s terms and conditions, despite the two companies collaborating to develop it.

The application updates a user’s status with a Westfield-branded message to promote its Gift Card. It requires the user to opt in so that their status is updated to “All I Want for Christmas is a Westfield Gift Card”, with extra copy stating that the user has now gone into the draw to win a $10,000 gift card.

So far over 200,000 Facebook users have opted into the application and updated their status.

But the promotion has also attracted a backlash from other users, complaining that the promotion is taking over the social networking site as friends’ status updates that feature the Westfield branding, clutter their screens.

Facebook groups have also been created in opposition to it. One group, known as If All You Want For Christmas Is A Westfield Gift Card, I Don’t Want To Know, currently has over 3,300 fans.

Separately, there is concern that the promotion contravenes Facebook’s own rules. In section 4.2 in its terms and conditions, it states:

“In the rules of the promotion, or otherwise, you will not condition entry to the promotion upon taking any action on Facebook, for example, updating a status, posting on a profile or Page, or uploading a photo.”

The Facebook application is part of a wider campaign, created by M&C Saatchi and its DM and digital operation Mark, to promote its gift card.

The application is the competition component of the campaign which launched on November 1. It is being supported by radio, letterbox drops and in-centre point of sale. The Facebook application was launched on November 24.

In a statement Westfield said: “[The] Christmas Gift Card promotion on Facebook is a registered promotion. Westfield worked closely with Facebook to develop the competition and Westfield has legal advice that the promotion does not breach the Spam Act.”

Facebook declined to comment.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.