Foxtel CMO Andy Lark: “I’m pretty short on Facebook as a marketer”

Former CommBank and Dell marketing and digital boss, Andy Lark, has turned decidedly sober on Facebook as its global founder Mark Zuckerberg fronted US policymakers in Washington this week over the widening privacy and data saga stemming from the Cambridge Analytica disclosures.

In an interview with MCN’s Paul McIntyre, Foxtel’s new CMO is the first Australian marketer to publicly challenge Facebook, saying the social media juggernaut has lost its halo and needs regulatory oversight like traditional media companies.

“I’m pretty short on Facebook as a marketer,” he says. “The central issue is do they see themselves as a media company or a platform making the world a better place? They are a media company. They need to get over it.”

In this episode of “MCN Meets”, Lark is typically frank on a wide range of issues for Australia’s largest marketers using social platforms in their media investments:

 On the current ACCC Inquiry into Google and Facebook

“I’m actually really encouraged by the ACCC inquiry in Australia because it’s a great opportunity, at least for those who represent the people, to scrutinise the benefit and responsibility these platforms play in society. That’s the conundrum for marketers because these platforms do play a really big role. They are media companies. If any media company behaved the way they behaved, they’d certainly be suffering through immense liable suits and they’d certainly be under enormous government scrutiny. We wouldn’t just have a banking inquiry, we would have a media inquiry.”

 On advertisers’ emerging responsibilities with tech-media

“For larger-scale marketers, you do have the right to say, ‘hey clean up your act that is not ok’. We have a much bigger role to play in educating consumers about when they do choose to log in with Facebook, what data they are giving away and who has access to that data. I would be the first to say I’m guilty of clicking on an app, installing an app and signing in with Facebook without any thought to what that person might be doing with my data. It turns out they’re not so responsible. That has a number of implications for any of us in the marketing game.”

On supporting social platforms or not

“What it causes you to do as a marketer is to go should I be sponsoring or investing in parties that behave this way? Elon Musk doesn’t think so.” 

Watch the full video interview below.