Facebook Advertisers are brands that only accept recommendations from their agencies, but their agencies are telling them to bail on the social media network right now.
So says an article in The New York Times on Thursday:
“Several top marketers were openly critical of the tech giant, a day after The New York Times published an investigation detailing how Facebook’s top executives — Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg — made the company’s growth a priority while ignoring and hiding warning signs over how its data and power were being exploited to disrupt elections and spread toxic content. The article also spotlighted a lobbying campaign overseen by Ms. Sandberg, who also oversees advertising, that sought to shift public anger to Facebook’s critics and rival tech firms.
“The revelations may be ‘the straw that breaks the camel’s back,’ said Rishad Tobaccowala, chief growth officer for the Publicis Groupe, one of the world’s biggest ad companies. ‘Now we know Facebook will do whatever it takes to make money. They have absolutely no morals.’ ”
In addition to data privacy issues, such as Cambridge Analytica, there were concerns for marketers about alleged exaggerated audience size for ads and inaccurate video view metrics. But the article from the Times states that advertisers have larger concerns to consider now; specifically, their agencies say they should demand third-party oversight, because Facebook allegedly actively deceived them in order to keep bringing in advertising revenue. Facebook denies the alleged deceit, according to the Times article.
The Times article said so far, brands don’t appear ready to leave Facebook.
On Sunday, The Washington Post’s editorial showed the organization not only supported a competitor — the Times — but said that Facebook deserves criticism and the American public deserves solutions.
The Post editorial reads, in part:
“Most concerning is Facebook’s hiring of a public-relations firm, Definers, that played into conspiracy theories by linking grass-roots opposition to billionaire George Soros — while Facebook also lobbied a Jewish civil rights group to cast other negative rhetoric as anti-Semitic. These tactics exploit one of America’s deepest divides, amplifying the same political polarization Facebook claims it is trying to stop its platform from promoting. (Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg were unaware of Definers’s involvement.)
“It is strategies such as these that make it difficult to write off Facebook’s failings as part of a maturation process for the Silicon Valley start-up turned titan.”
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.