Facebook Reassures Advertisers, Undergoes MRC Audit

As part of a broader effort to win back the trust of brands and business partners, Facebook is subjecting itself to an audit by the Media Rating Council (MRC).

The move is meant “to verify the accuracy of the information we deliver to our partners,” the social giant said on a statement, on Friday.

Facebook recently came clean about several ad-metric inaccuracies, and what it considers to be "improvements" to its measurement system.

The most recent update involved the company’s estimated reach methodology -- a tool in the ad creation flow that shows advertisers the number of users they can expect to reach with potential ad campaigns.



“We're now using a methodology less reliant on sampling/extrapolating our audience sizes, which in most cases, should show advertisers a less than 10% change (increase or decrease) in the audience sizes shown in the tool,” a Facebook spokeswoman told Social Media & Marketing Daily, late last year.

“We misallocated the extra reactions per user that happened during the live broadcast to the ‘Reactions from Shares of Post’ section,” the spokeswoman said.

Facebook had been mistakenly counting them in the “Reactions on Post” section. The social net also recently identified a discrepancy between the counts for the Like and Share buttons via its Graph API, and the counts when a URL is entered into the search bar in its mobile app.

In response, Facebook has vowed to provide a more accurate picture of brands' campaign performance.   

That effort included the creation of an internal review process, and Metrics FYI -- a blog with which the social giant has promised to keep marketers abreast of ad measurement updates and changes.

Facebook also recently partnered with Nielsen to include Facebook video and Facebook Live viewership in the measurement firm’s digital content ratings.

Industry leaders have been calling for an independent audit for some time. Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the Association of National Advertisers, has been particularly vocal about the issue.

“While ANA recognizes that ‘mistakes do happen,’ we also recognize that Facebook has not yet achieved the level of measurement transparency that marketers need and require,” Liodice asserted in a blog post, last year.

“With more than $6 billion of marketers’ media being directed to Facebook, we believe it is time for them … to be audited and accredited,” Liodice demanded.

By its own count, Facebook now has 24 third-party measurement partners.

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