Facebook's recent announcement about Facebook Ads - what has been termed the equivalent of Google's Adwords - has highlighted the way that advertising, just like PR, is seeking to have a conversation with its customers on the socially valuable social networks. Today's Financial Times quotes an analyst from Forrester saying "There has to be a conversation between the brand and the marketplace."
Certainly it is a very fertile and innovative time in terms of new developments and techniques in online advertising in developing the technology to build one to one advertising campaigns, but above all the acceptance by consumers in allowing advertisers to enter their social networks. Just the same dilemma faces PR communicators how to access social networks in an ethical and acceptable way that does not damage the ecology of particular social networks.
I cannot remember a time when industry collectively has been so concerned about damaging the ecology of a medium which they wish to use to communicate with customers. Perhaps an example of how influential and ingrained ethical issues have become in corporate thinking or just an awareness of the potential loss of reputation for a major corporation being one of the first users to clumsily address social networks.