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Targeted Facebook Ads Latest Tool In Anti-Foreclosure Fight

BY Nick Judd | Friday, March 2 2012

The progressive organization Rebuild the Dream is remixing two online advertising strategies in the hopes of applying pressure on companies like Freddie Mac and JPMorgan Chase to change their foreclosure practices.

Rebuild the Dream is out to its email list with a call to raise money the organization promises will be spent on ads to make this point. The twist is that unlike other campaigns of this type, the money won't go to web videos or TV ads. Instead, says Rebuild the Dream Chief Technology Officer Jim Pugh, the plan is to put Facebook ads in front of employees at both companies using the social network's ad targeting features.

"If you're a financial company you've gotten plenty of bad press, and you've developed a thick skin to some degree," Pugh told me.

The question, he said, is to find a novel approach that companies haven't already seen — something for which they haven't already developed a strategy.

"The idea of these ads is not to attack these employees," Pugh told me. "It's to inform them and say, 'Hey, look at these bad practices that the company that you're working for is engaged in.'"

By targeting the ads to people who list either company as their employer, Rebuild the Dream staffers hope to spend their advertising dollars more efficiently.

"This is kind of like setting up a protest in front of their headquarters," Pugh said. "This is a tactic that's going to be aimed at their employees there — aimed at doing so online."