ANA calls for social media audits

Dive Brief:

  • The Association of National Advertisers called out a group of platforms including Twitter, Snapchat, Amazon, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Pinterest, saying they need to allow for independent audits of ad campaign data as reported by Ad Age.
  • Google and Facebook were left off the list because both announced they are allowing the Media Rating Council to audit their campaign data.
  • According to the ANA, 80% of advertisers see audits as a positive step in digital advertising.

Dive Insight:

The ANA statement is the latest example of the marketing industry's growing campaign to encourage major digital platforms to have their metrics accredited by independent groups, something these companies have been reluctant to do in the past, claiming that their offerings are unique and therefore existing measurement standards cannot accurately assess their impact. 

While the call for better measurement is not new, there is new momentum behind the issue following a message from P&G’s Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard in January at the IAB’s annual leadership meeting. Pritchard said the CPG giant — and the world's largest advertiser — is giving online ad platforms like Google, Facebook and Snapchat until the end of the year to adopt MRC-accredited third-party verification or lose P&G’s ad business. Pritchard had reportedly discussed the topic privately, but since going public his words have encouraged others to follow suit and now with the ANA statement the pressure for platforms seen as “walled gardens” to open up to independent verification of metrics like impressions and viewability is only increasing.

The road to a more transparent digital media supply chain is likely to hit some bumps. For example, Google and Facebook have committed to MRC accreditation, but there are signs that meeting Prithcard's deadline may be a challenge

“Embrace the transparency," Bill Duggan, EVP at ANA, told Ad Age. "One frustration of marketers is they are unable to optimize if walled gardens don't open up and share data.”

Filed Under: Social Media Trends Analytics