Facebook’s scandals: Does PR boss Nick Clegg have a different role to play?

As one who doesn’t use Facebook at all it’s sometimes bewildering to discover the amount of ire it provokes – isn’t it just supposed to connect people who want to share not very interesting aspects of their lives?

A threat to political stability, even democracy? Time for a lie down surely.

Or maybe not. Here’s whistleblowing Facebook exec Frances Haugen, a Silicon Valley veteran to the extent it has them, saying why she released thousands of documents to the Wall Street Journal.

And, doubly alarming for advertisers and their media agencies, why the more shit it stirs the more money it makes.

What’s the worst that can happen to Zuckerberg and co? Another huge fine – well it has plenty of money. A break-up? There would still be the same shareholders, presumably, but in different places. A boycott by big advertisers? They rode out one of those before. Facebook makes most of its money from smaller advertisers who have no other way of reaching so many people (assuming what Facebook tells them is even halfway true.)

Ad contrarian Bob Hoffman reckons this could be the endgame for Facebook, or at least its current management.

It probably needs a big defection before that can happen. Cue PR supremo (Sir) Nick Clegg?

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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