“Rectal Hyperthermia”? What Are You Trying To Tell Me, Facebook?

Dennis Ryan, Advertising, Olson

About a month ago, a survey fielded by those nonstop pollsters at YouGov, revealed that in the past twelve months, usage of Facebook by Britain’s online audience has dropped a full 9%. Advertisers play a considerable role in that, with a full 23% citing ‘fed up with social marketing promotions’ as their reason for cutting back. The social network peaked in the UK with 30 million visitors in October 2012, dropping to 27 million this past March. Those have to be worrisome numbers, even to the notoriously cavalier Mark Zuckerberg…

This morning, I had one of those ‘you’ve got to be kidding me’ moments of my own, courtesy of Facebook and their “Sponsored” posts. To the left, you’ll see a remarkable product that apparently middle-aged men really need for this constipation and ‘hemroids’ (sic): the Rectal Hyperthermia. Despite its stated aim of ‘enhanced natural healing’ for those suffering from problems with their back end, this is a truly terrifying product. Oh sure, they claim it also provides “pain relief in the back, shoulder, knees and other joints and muscles.  It also provides fast relief from stomach ache, menstrual cramps (usually in less than an hour almost always), tooth pain and migraine” but you don’t name a product “Rectal Hyperthermia” then expect to use it to treat knee pain.

Clearly, this must some bogus, offshore snake oil scam (Notice the syntax of the parenthetical above where they claim both to ‘usually’ and ‘almost always’ treat cramps in less than an hour? That’s classic ‘English-as-a-second-language’ writing.). And yet Facebook considered this advertiser worthy of highlighting in my wall with their increasingly omnipresent Sponsored Posts, clearly believing I represent the perfect demographic for this portable, carbon fiber far-infrared technology. And all for just $350.

I think the Brits are on to something…

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Olson