OLD Media Moves

Issues with Fortune cover on Facebook

February 26, 2009

Charles Warner, who teaches media management classes and who blogs at Media Curmudgeon.com, notes several errors in the current Fortune cover story on Facebook.

Warner writes, “Some readers of this blog may remember when Jack Webb used to say in ‘Dragnet,’ ‘Just the facts, ‘mam’ – something that FORTUNE’s Jessi Hempel and Assistant Managing Editor Stephanie Mehta should have remembered. Any one who knows even the slighted about online advertising knows that ’15 cents per 1,000 clicks’ had to be written by a complete ignoramus. Jessi meant to write 15 cents CPM (cost per thousand). CPM is nothing like the performance-based metric cost-per-click, which Google uses to price keywords in its AdWords system. If Google charged 15 cents for a 1,000 clicks its stock price would be as low as Yahoo’s (around $5.00) and its revenue would be one-one thousanth of what it is.

“And to write in a magazine that purports to be credible that ‘attempts to sell traditional online ads on Facebook and other social-networking sites have failed miserably’ flies in the face of the facts. The two leading social-networking sites will sell over $1 billion in advertising this year. MySpace is expected to do over $750 million in ad revenue in 2009 and Facebook about $250 million. Some failure. And I’m sure Zuckerberg was pleased to read that ‘members ignore’ ads on his precious site (which is untrue to the tune of $250 million).”

Read more here. It should be noted that Warner’s post on Huffington Post implies that Carol Loomis no longer works for Fortune, when she is still a writer there. And he misspelled the name of former GE CEO Jack Welch.

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