Beauty brands are joining social networking websites like Facebook to spark discussions about their products, spread the word and bond with consumers.

Social networking websites are becoming ever more popular but their marketing potential is only just being recognized.Groups have now been created to celebrate most big brands in the cosmetics industry but only a few are succeeding in attracting large numbers of visitors.Unlike conventional advertising, marketing on sites like Facebook and MySpace is extremely cheap and has the potential to put customers in touch with one another.
http://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/news/ng.asp?n=83243-mac-cosmetics-facebook-marketing

Annoyed with the ad deluge on social networks, many users are spending less time on the sites. 

…the forecasts for torrid growth may prove unrealistic. Besides the slowing user growth and declining time spent on these sites, users appear to be growing less responsive to ads, according to several advertisers and online placement firms. If advertisers can’t figure out how to reverse these trends, social networking could end up as a niche market in the online ad world, smashing hopes and valuations across Silicon Valley.

http://search.businessweek.com/Search?searchTerm=Generation+MySpace+fed+up&resultsPerPage=20

Robert Scoble, who has long been proud of the fact that his popular blog remains free of advertisements or sponsorships, will soon put ads on his site, he told me yesterday.The change comes as part of his move to Fast Company, who will sell the ads on his behalf and will also be redesigning the site.

Scoble and Dave Winer have been the main proponents of advertising-free blogs over the years, arguing that it creates conflicts that should be avoided. In 2005, when we first put ads on TechCrunch, Winer wrote a long comment expressing disappointment and regretting linking to the site, and followed up with a podcast on the issue. He’s been writing about this since at least 2000.

This isn’t the first time Scoble has run into issues around financial conflicts of interest, but it’s the first time it directly involved his personal blog. So Scoble has changed his tune. Will Winer be next? http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/01/25/scoble-sells-out/

Misuse of Flickr photo more about privacy than intellectual property. Virgin Mobile used photo of Alison Chang posted on Flicker for an advertising campaign in Australia without her permission. Chang v. Virgin Mobile USA is not the typical intellectual property rights case, this case hinges on privacy, the right of people not to have their likeness used in an ad without permission.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/01/technology/01link.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=Noam+cohen%2C+flickr&st=nyt&oref=slogin

Mark Zuckerberg & Co. stood up in front of the advertising community in New York today and unveiled Facebook Ads, an ad system that allows companies to use the Facebook social graph and to develop highly targeted ads. Large brands such as Coca-Cola (KO), Sony Pictures (SNE) and Verizon (VZ) have signed on for this effort. Part of the engine powering this new ad system is called Beacon, which takes data from 44 web destinations and mashes it up with Facebook’s internal information to help build more focused advertising messages.

While it seems to be a clever idea, a quick review reveals that Beacon might turn out to be a privacy hairball for the company.

http://gigaom.com/2007/11/06/facebook-beacon-privacy-issues/