Report: Adidas suspends Facebook video ad buys over lack of transparency
- Adidas has stopped purchasing video ads on Facebook and is reviewing whether to cut its spending on the platform over concerns that its ads aren’t being viewed, Digiday reported citing unnamed agency executives who work with the brand. However, Adidas continues to work with Facebook-owned Instagram.
- Adidas, which recently completed an internal audit of its spending on Facebook, is frustrated by how the limited data shared by the social media platform hampers its ability to determine the efficacy of ads. As much as 30% of the company’s spend on Facebook could be wasted because of low viewership, one of the sources said.
- Viewability and retention rates on the platform haven’t been high enough to convince Adidas to continue advertising on Facebook. Last year, video ad views were as low as 22%, according to the report.
Adidas’ move to suspend its video advertising on Facebook underscores marketers’ growing frustration with a lack of transparency in digital media. Even as many brands continue to up their investments on digital platforms, marketers often struggle to determine the financial return for their spend. Recent research by the CMO Council found that 95% of marketers think digital media needs to become more reliable, and inaccurate or false digital media reporting has led 21% to cut their ad spend.
The sportswear brand joins a growing number of big brands putting pressure on digital platforms to be more transparent and provide better metrics. Early last year, P&G laid down an ultimatum, insisting digital platforms adopt the common MRC viewability standard and work towards greater transparency or it would take its digital budget elsewhere. While the major platforms complied, the Adidas underscores how the work toward great transparency in digital media is far from done.
Adidas reportedly hinted at its plans to pull ads from Facebook several months ago, expressing dissatisfaction with the industry’s viewability standards, according to Digiday. Most marketers question viewability standards across digital platforms, with only 3% agreeing with the MRC’s definition of 50% of content playing for two consecutive seconds with the sound off, according to the CMO Council survey.
The news comes as Facebook is facing increased scrutiny from advertisers on the privacy front as well, following the Cambridge Analytical scandal where about 80 million users had their personal information abused. While the social network has implemented several changes to make the platform more secure for consumers and advertisers, several other advertisers, including Mozilla, Sonos and SpaceX, have pulled their ads from the platform.