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Facebook said to lavish more dollars on ads in image rehab: WSJ

Facebook (FB)—hit by scandals over data privacy — is planning to spend more on advertising to rehabilitate its battered image, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

In an interview with the publication, marketing chief Antonio Lucio suggested the company’s ad funds could more than double, and that it would be engaging with a new roster of creative agencies—concentrating on brands such as WhatsApp and Instagram.

“We’re experimenting and starting from scratch in each market,” he told The Journal. “On the direct-to-consumer side, we have never had an effort of this magnitude.”

istanbul,Turkey - December 4, 2011: Facebook Homepage Closeup on LCD Screen, Chrome Web Browser

The social networking giant had found itself at the forefront of several controversies, and is ratcheting up on advertising to boost the public’s perception of its image.

“Our objective is to build brands that stand the test of time,” Lucio said in the article.

Some of those efforts have already materialized in targeted television and web advertisements, like one Father’s Day-themed ad that promotes Facebook’s membership groups.

According to the article, Facebook has hired names like Wieden + Kennedy to focus on the Facebook app; Leo Burnett from Publicis Groupe SA to improve Facebook Messenger; WPP PLC’s Ogilvy for Instagram and Omnicom Group Inc.’s BBDO for WhatsApp.

Separately, firm Droga5 will concentrate on Facebook’s corporate brand and as Facebook puts it: “building trust.”

“There’s no question we made mistakes and we’re in the process of addressing them one after the other,” Lucio said. “But we have to tell that story to the world on the trust side as well as on the value side.”

Facebook did not immediately respond to Yahoo Finance’s request for comment.

Donovan Russo is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him @Donovanxrusso.

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