Facebook reaches out to ad creatives with new site where they can bounce ideas (and visitors can vote too!)

Instead of "navigating the Facebook waters without a compass," advertising creatives now have an ideas forum they can call their own on the social network

The site is called Facebook Studio and is a platform aimed at agencies, PR firms and media companies.The move is a "first step in a give-and-take dialogue between Facebook and the creative advertising world," said the US magazine AdAge - pointing out that until now, Facebook had been mostly hands-off with agencies.

They effectively had to "navigate the frequently changing Facebook waters without a compass."

Blake Chandlee, head of Facebook's new agency relations team, said "We need to do a better job of engaging with agencies." The new site will focus on best practices and highlight campaigns uploaded by agency creators .

Of course, he pointed out, users will be commenting and clicking the 'like' button, so the most talked-about work will get the most attention. Alreday Maxus is up on the site with work for British Telecom.

Facebook wants the people with the advertising smarts to take the lead. "So far we've felt like they've been pulled along," Mr. Chandlee said.

Since last August a newly-hired team - with the brief of facilitating agency relations - has been meeting with creatives to learn what they needed.

Facebook is holding events called Studio Live -- hackathon-style problem solving and "best in show" sessions, said AdAge. A Toronto event earlier this year was attended by Publicis, Interpublic, Omnicom, WPP and Havas .

Sarah Hofstetter, senior VP at 360i, who has worked with Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods and Bravo, said the the studio was a great first step. Beyond that, however, "we're looking to Facebook to open the kimono more in areas like product development to bring smarter, more integrated programs to our clients. "

Jasmine Summerset, strategy supervisor at Pereira & O'Dell, said the tools Facebook developed - spreading information about their platform, "will not only help it seem less daunting, but encourage brands to further utilise the platform as well as experiment with it." The next Facebook Studio Live event is planned for May 12 in New York.

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