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Genesis Fitness promotes sponsored Facebook post as ‘news’

Genesis Fitness promotes sponsored Facebook post as ‘news’
June 29, 2021

Leading exercise facility group Genesis Health and Fitness has been promoting a sponsored post on Facebook, in which it claims to be the "#1 Growing Fitness Franchise", as ‘news’.

It’s a move that has surprised Australasian Leisure Management Publisher, Nigel Benton who explains “it’s remarkable that a major fitness operator like Genesis - which has a pretty credible brand - should go down this route with a piece of poor quality motivational-style speak with unsubstantiated claims posted as paid for sponsored content.

“When something pops up on your Facebook feed saying ‘news’, you expect it to be that, not a poorly written piece of promotion.

“News should be about real achievements, like the wonderful piece we ran yesterday on Lift Brands investment in Fitstop which has not only been reported by us but has also been reported as a ‘serious’ business success in the pages of the Australian Financial Review.

“That’s the type of coverage credible fitness businesses should be looking for, not rubbing shoulders with the increasingly dodgy advertisements that all-too-often appear on Facebook and other social media platforms.”

Since its creation in 2003 and its explosion in use across the world over the last decade, Facebook has offered may marketing opportunities for brands. It, and other online platforms, have made it easier than ever before to reach highly targeted audiences with the information that sellers want them to see.

However, in the last few years, and particularly during the Coronavirus lockdowns of the past 12 months, scam and fraudulent activities have grown significantly.

Recording the extent of online scam activities, market research company Gallup revealed last year that one in four Americans are a victim of cybercrime each year, from relationship scams to fake IT support to Ponzi schemes to phishing. Last year, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received 467,361 complaints, with reported losses exceeding US$3.5 billion.

Trying to halt this is a challenge, with the USA’s Time magazine reported that shopping scams on Facebook are ripping off significant number of customers while, in April, UK consumer watchdog Which? found Facebook, as well as Google, either failed or was slow to remove online scam advertisements after fraud victims reported them.

Australasian Leisure Management knows Genesis Health and Fitness to be a credible business and is not suggesting its social media advertisements are fraudulent activity in any way.

However, Benton suggests that being in this marketplace is not good company for Genesis to be keeping, adding “there is so much misinformation, fake news and the like, all responsible businesses have a responsibility to not undermine media that aims to be factual and accurate."

In addition, he commented “the brand must have some great news to share but has never seemed to have a grasp on effective media relations.”

Benton cited an example of Genesis not having a culture or tradition of media engagement, recalling “in 2017 when the business reached its 20th anniversary it didn’t see such an operational success story as being newsworthy. Australasian Leisure Management was the only media outlet to report this success.”

Genesis has not responded to a request for comment.

Editor's note: Genesis Health and Fitness has not been recognised over the last three years as being among the top five commercial gym brands for customer satisfaction in annual surveys run by Canstar Blue. It last featured on the Canstar Blue list in 2017 when it was listed in eighth position.

The item posted by Genesis as news is as follows:

The happiness formula is simple. 
“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life” - Mark Twain 
If you’re lying awake at night staring at the ceiling…
Counting how many hours of sleep you have until your dreaded alarm goes off…
You need to listen closely…
Well, what you are about to discover could be the secret ticket to take you from a dead-end job that just ‘pays the bills’...
To a fulfilling and stable business, that gives you purpose…
And sets your soul on fire. 
Look. We all regret something at one time or another. 
Regret that we never completed that uni degree…
Regret that we didn’t take up that insane job opportunity because it seemed too good to be true…
And even regret that we decided to take ourselves down a path that was never on our internal vision board. 
It can be soul breaking.
But we’ve all been there before…
And no matter what age…
What type of family responsibilities…
Or how far into a career we are…
We can ALWAYS redirect our life’s path…
And set us down a road that puts the fire back into our lungs…
Sets us up financially…
And gives you something to jump out of bed for. 
Before I go any further, let me introduce myself…
I’m [name removed, ed], business manager for Australia’s largest family-owned fitness and leisure business group - Belgravia Group. 
With over 200+ locations and an annual turnover of $500m…
My team and I know what it takes to run a successful business. 
We’ve recently put together a FREE guide on the 5 critical questions you MUST ask before you buy a gym franchise. 
Because by not asking these questions…
The financial (and emotional) risks you might face could be devastating.
Click the link below to secure your copy now:
Here’s what’s covered inside: 
✔️ The #1 biggest mistake new gym owners make when buying a franchise...and how to avoid it (Don’t make this rookie mistake and it could save you thousands!)
✔️ The formula [name removed, ed] uses to pinpoint to perfect suburb hotspot - You’ll discover the exact checklist they use to find the best suburb that will support long-term growth for your new gym.
✔️ The one question that could save you THOUSANDS in franchise fees: This simple question could make a HUGE difference to the profitability of your gym 
Sounds jam-packed, right?
Now, I have to let you know…
This guide isn’t just some fluffy piece of writing to make you feel warm and cuddly. 
It’s cold hard, laser-focused steps and checklists that you can implement TODAY to get yourself a business to call your own. 
You won’t just find out my winning formula…

Images show Genesis' sponsored Facebook posts.

About the author

Bill Gillies

Staff Writer

Bill Gillies is a staff writer at Australasian Leisure Management.

Read more from this author

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