Facebook Caves, Allows Ad Metrics Oversight
When the nation’s largest ad buyer tells you to clean up your act, you do it. At least that’s what Facebook did after Procter and Gamble had had enough of the social media giant’s ad metrics snafus.
On Jan. 29, P&G’s Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard announced the company wouldn’t pay for ads, or anything from “digital media, ad tech companies, agencies or other suppliers for services that don't comply with its new rules,” reports Ad Age. Those new rules involve, according to Ad Age: “a thorough review of all media-agency contracts after the company found a surprise in its dealings with at least one agency, plus requirements that everyone use industry-standard viewability metrics, fraud protection and third-party verification.”
Pritchard had been on stage at Advertising Week in New York in September 2016 with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg when she downplayed the company’s self-reported finding of two years of incorrect video view metrics, Target Marketing reported. Facebook didn’t respond to Target Marketing’s emailed request for comment on Monday about this matter.
On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported “Facebook has pledged to undergo audits by the media industry’s measurement watchdog, the Media Rating Council.”
On Monday, a spokesman for the Association of National Advertisers, the entity that originally aired its grievances about Facebook’s lack of third-party oversight, replied simply to Target Marketing’s question “ANA is satisfied with this?”
Facebook’s move comes at a time when marketers are reporting decreasing trust in advertising agencies, ad placements and media spending, Target Marketing found.
Explaining Facebook’s reluctance to add third-party oversight sooner, Bruce Biegel — senior managing director of Winterberry Group — told members of the Direct Marketing Club of New York last month that Facebook and Google are in a delicate balancing act in an effort to avoid congressional oversight. The more they open up the walled garden, the more likely they are to have more regulation, he predicted.
In the meantime, WSJ reports:
“Facebook plans to provide more granular data to third-party measurement partners, such as Integral Ad Science and Moat. That will include metrics such as how many ads in a given campaign are viewable, how long these ads appear on various screens and whether sound was on for video ads.”
Perhaps Facebook leaders had no choice.
“P&G expects everyone it deals with to accept the MRC standard by year-end, he said,” Ad Age writes, paraphrasing Pritchard. “ ‘Time is up. We will no longer tolerate the ridiculous complexity of different viewability standards.’ ”
What do you think, marketers?
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