Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bucket List Ads on Face Book

You know those "bucket list" ads that pop up in Facebook? I saw the photo for San Francisco and thought, hmmmm.... that doesn't look like anything I've ever seen there. Guess what: it's not San Francisco but back a couple thousand miles away in Michigan (thanks to Tineye reverse image search: .) When I clicked on the Berkeley version, I traced the background image to a stock photo of Regina Canada (

After clicking on some of the links with photos that had nothing to do with the city they advertise, they turn out to be a "groupon" sort of service. That's to say as far as I could see they had no bucket list if you go through the trouble of registering and giving up your email. Turns out this is a company based out of the UK,called  Living Social. They probably never have heard of some of the cities that they advertise, let alone know what they look like. Oddly enough, they didn't even have content for Berkeley when I clicked on that link. Kinda strange to advertise for a market for which they had no content.

As a photographer specializing in localized content this is pretty distressing. In addition to all the cheap stock photography out there, it looks like even huge companies don't care if their local content is authentic. And perhaps customers are unaware or don't care. Or even that being deceptive increases their business: I clicked on the image because I wanted to know where in San Francisco it was: and it wasn't. Made me look!

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