Fake IKEA gift cards – Spam hits Pinterest

The popular online pinboard Pinterest has been hit by a series of spam ads. Pinterest user Craig Fifield found that a strange image had been posted on of of his wife’s boards. It was something she would never pin on the site, an ad for Wal-Mart. The same thing was noticed by Om Malik on Gigaom:

“Earlier this evening, some kind of spam-exploit injected  javascript code that started replacing many Pinterest photos with ads for Best Buy. (see photo.) The actions resulted in disgruntled users blaming Pinterest.”

Fake gift cards for well known brands such as Wal-Mart, IKEA, iPad and others are suddenly all over Pinterest.

pinterest spam ads for ikea and ipad

They all seem to be pointing to the site facebook-goodies.com and some spammer has probably posted several photos and then after they were repinned, the image changed to an ad through some kind of script. The original images seem to have been posted to boards themed “party ideas”, “beauty” and “quotes” to name a few.

Some of the spam ads have been repinned more than 6,000 times.

pinterest spam ad starbucks

This is of course quite serious for Pinterest, since it is a blow to the very heart of the site. If we can no longer trust that images we repin aren’t going to turn into spam ads, dare we use the site at all?

Another form of spam that has been emerging is that the same image is posted multiple times on multiple accounts, but with the exact same text.

pinterest spam ads

Update: one of the accounts that seemed to be the origin of some spam ads have now been deleted: http://pinterest.com/ElisabethCarla/

How US retailers use Facebook for customer service

A new study from Conversocial describes how the largest US retailers use Facebook for customer service. The white paper, entitled Who’s Ignoring Their Customers?: A Survey Of The Largest US Retailers and Their Use of Social Media, includes findings such as these:

– Walmart, the largest retailer, was missing 41% of all customer service enquiries. Costco, Kmart and Kroger missed 100%. Safeway were doing relatively well, missing only 5%. Overall, 65% of all complaints and questions were missed by the sample group.

– Safeway was given praise for dealing with the full complaint on the wall. Safeway redirected some complaints to a Facebook dedicated email and a Freephone number, but a significant number of conversations about customer satisfaction are handled on social media outlets which means the solutions are visible to everyone.

– US retailers are generally slower at responding to customers than UK retailers. None of the ten in the US study were averaging at under an hour, compared with two retailers in the UK sample achieving a quick average time.

Brands on Facebook - graph of customer response rates

Read the full report below, it is worth the time.