An interesting article over at the NY Times details the failure of Coca-Cola to follow through on its initial commitment as a Facebook partner in Beacon. Coke had been named as a “Landmark Partner” in Beacon along with Verizon and Blockbuster when Facebook announced Beacon November 6.
Notably Coca-Cola didn’t realize that Beacon wouldn’t be opt-in, and this was key in their withdrawal of support, and continued absence from the program:
“We have adopted a bit of a ‘wait and see’ as far as what we are going to do with Beacon because we are not sure how consumers are going to respond,” said Carol Kruse, Coke’s vice president of global interactive marketing, this morning..“I, like you, certainly understood that it would be opt-in. That’s what I heard before as well as what I heard on the 6th.”
As we know Facebook has now flipped on Beacon, switching to an opt-in model after widespread criticism from users and groups including Moveon.org. The evolving story though is how Facebook got to this point, particularly given key partners were led to believe that the program was opt-in, suggesting that someone, or something caused Facebook to switch to an opt-out model at the 11th hour.