ARF Rescinds Cambridge Analytica Award, Says It Acted 'Unethically'

The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) has rescinded a highly regarded foundation award for a controversial audience-targeting campaign it bestowed to Cambridge Analytica in 2017, citing that it acted "unethically."

The announcement -- which was made by ARF President-CEO Scott McDonald during his opening remarks on the second day of the ARF’s Audience X Science conference in Jersey City, New Jersey -- comes after a number of members and industry observers groused about the ARF’s original decision to recognize Cambridge Analytica with one of its prestigious Ogilvy Awards in 2017, and for not quickly rescinding it after revelations that the research firm used unethical and possibly illegal means of scraping Facebook user data as the basis of its campaign targeting.

Last year, the ARF issued a statement announcing it was “reviewing” the award.

The ARF’s Ogilvy Awards site has removed Cambridge Analytica from its 2017 list of winners and included a note stating it has been rescinded, because the “awardee had behaved unethically.”



2 comments about "ARF Rescinds Cambridge Analytica Award, Says It Acted 'Unethically'".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, April 16, 2019 at 11:35 a.m.

    They might have kept the award had the election swung the other direction. 

  2. Kevin Killion from Stone House Systems, Inc., April 16, 2019 at 12:40 p.m.

    Even the left-leaning Politifact points out some similarities between use of Facebook data in both the 2012 Obama campaign and the 2016 Trump campaign:

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