Report: Facebook discussions with MRC infer step toward accreditation of metrics

Dive Brief:

  • The Media Rating Council, which accredits ratings for many major marketing industry entities, told Ad Age that the group has recently held talks with Facebook regarding auditing and accrediting its measurements, the publication reported
  • Facebook has reportedly not yet made any commitment, and the social media giant declined to comment on the record for Ad Age’s story. 
  • MRC's associate director and senior VP David Gunzreath told the publication that the Association of National Advertisers has been an important advocate for accreditation of Facebook and other walled garden platforms, a fact that carries a lot of weight given that the association represents numerous marketers with big advertising budgets.

Dive Insight:

This news suggests that, after repeated admission of metrics flubs by Facebook, and in its own efforts to put in place a strategy for rectifying the situation,  the social media giant may have recognized that these internal measures are not enough to regain the trust of marketers. Marketers spend more than $6 billion quarterly with Facebook, so these recent revelations are forcing brands to reevaluate their budgets. Facebook's initial steps toward accreditation and auditing also may trigger a ripple effect with other platforms.

The ANA came out with a statement soon after admission of the video metrics errors, calling the news “troubling” and urging Facebook to have its measurements audited and accredited.

“ANA does not believe there are any pragmatic reasons that a media company should not abide by the standards of accreditation and auditing,” wrote ANA President and CEO Bob Liodice at the time. 

Even though digital advertising spend continues to grow and is expected to surpass TV spending this year, digital platforms like Facebook and others have avoided accreditation so far. MRC’s Gunzreath told Ad Age he believes accreditation would not only benefit the marketplace but Facebook as well.

Facebook has been working with several third parties on verification and services around ad measurement. If it were to agree to have a well-respected independent entity like MRC accredit its measurement, this would likely put pressure on Twitter, Snapchat and other platforms to have greater transparency around their measurements. 

Filed Under: Social Media Analytics Corporate News