Molson flub was about marketing, not Facebook

Molson, the U.S.-owned company that wants to make us feel Canadian, has pulled the plug on a Facebook campaign that encourages college students to submit photos of them drinking the company’s beer.

Because it uses the bloody F-word, this story is getting all sorts of attention from the blogosphere. Thanks to a Bloomberg wire story, it’s getting attention in international media as well.

Molson, for their part, blames this whole new social media thing and how unpredictable it is because it’s so new and stuff.

Oh please. Encouraging college kids to take photos of themselves partying and drinking is obviously going to lead to excessive drinking. For that matter, everything beer companies do encourages the party atmosphere of excessive drinking (not that college kids need much encouragement in that area). To claim that this was some sort of shock is a lame face-saver that all these new media bloggers are eating up because they want to turn this into something more important than it is.

Contests gone embarrassingly wrong is nothing new. (Whether this actually went wrong or not is a matter of judgment — I think they knew exactly what they were doing, and it was the media coverage that caught them flat-footed.) Either way, there’s nothing about this situation could not have happened if it didn’t involve Facebook.

But don’t let that stop the media and blogging firestorm that is ensuing, followed by analysis piece after analysis piece about the dangers of advertising in a medium you have no control over.

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