Facebook puts more control in advertisers' hands

Dive Brief:

  • Facebook is implementing changes to Audience Network, Instant Articles and in-stream ads that will give advertisers more control over where their ads appear, according to a company blog post
  • Advertisers will have pre-campaign transparency that allows them to view a publisher list of where their ads might run prior to launch. The feature is being tested with a select group on Audience Network who are working toward a video views objective, but the goal is to extend the program to all advertisers later this year. Advertisers will also be able to block publishers on the account level beginning on Audience Network and Instant Articles with in-stream ads added later. Finally, video advertisers on the Audience Network will be able to specify their placements by format such as in-stream, native or interstitial ads.
  • In separate news, Integral Ad Science is strengthening its partnership with Facebook via expanded measurement and reporting across Facebook's core platform, Instagram and Audience Network, and is adding additional viewability and fraud data measurement, per an Integral Ad Science news release made available to Marketing Dive.

Dive Insight:

Facebook's recent announcements seek to address several primary concerns for digital advertisers at the moment — namely brand safety and accurate third-party measurement, both of which can be muddied by a lack of transparency along the supply chain. The pre-campaign transparency marks the first time Facebook advertisers will actually be able to see where their ads will run beforehand, according to Adweek, though the publication said advertisers will not receive a list of where their ads appeared after the fact. 

The new tools for advertisers should help in whitelisting and blacklisting efforts — a standing gap for many in the industry, per Forrester Research —  and the expanded relationship with Integral Ad Science shows that Facebook continues to be more willing to turn to third-parties in helping marketers accurately track and measure their success, a pivot from its previous walled garden approach.  

Facebook also recently announced a three-step strategy to improve viewability. The process includes submitting to an audit by the Media Rating Council (MRC); working with third parties comScore, Moat and Integral Ad Science to formulate a viewability score on Facebook; and then offering a new buying option for Facebook advertisers that the MRC will analyze to ensure it meets its guidelines.

While independently verified marketing measurement has always been an issue for brands, it's taken on additional weight this year, especially following an industry call-to-action from Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard. Brand safety has also become bigger news stemming from advertisers' boycotts of YouTube and other Google proprieties after ads were found running next to offensive content. 

Filed Under: Social Media Trends Mobile
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