In the coming weeks and months, you're going to hear a lot more about "The Social Network," director David Fincher's examination of the development of Facebook. But you won't be hearing about it on Facebook.
According to All Things Digital (via Slash Film), Sony executives reached out to Facebook to advertise "The Social Network" on the social networking site but ultimately decided not to pursue that form of promotion — which is hardly unsurprising, given the fact that "The Social Network" doesn't exactly paint the most flattering portrait of Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, played in the film by Jesse Eisenberg.
"Facebook’s advertising guidelines don’t allow ads to reference the company unless Facebook has cooperated with the object of the ad," Sony's senior vice president of Media Relations Steve Elzer told All Things Digital. "So, we won't be advertising there given these parameters."
A Facebook representative confirms that "The Social Network" won't be advertised on the site, saying: "My understanding is that they asked us for our ad guidelines and decided not to advertise on us after receiving them … I don’t think they ever submitted ad copy for us to review."
It seems bizarre that "The Social Network," a film about Facebook, won't be advertised on Facebook — bizarre, but not surprising, given the film's unflattering portrayal of the social networking site's founding. Still, as Slash Film astutely points out, "The Social Network" is likely to make the Facebook rounds regardless of official advertising thanks to the legions of Facebook users likely to link around the film's trailers, posters and other promotional efforts.
Personally, I don't expect that the lack of Facebook advertising for "The Social Network" will damage the film's prospects in the end. If anything, it could generate some interesting buzz around the movie. We'll see how big an impact it has once Fincher's latest arrives in theaters in October.
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