Google Trust Issues Heat Up As LinkedIn Becomes Increasingly Transparent

LinkedIn on Tuesday introduced an Ads tab on LinkedIn Pages in an effort to become more transparent. Those using the site will have an option to view all the Sponsored Content and native ads running in the LinkedIn feed that advertisers have run in the past six months.

Members can click on the ads without advertisers having to pay for the view of the sponsored content. The click also will not impact the campaign reporting.

The new Ads tab builds on similar tools recently introduced to help members understand and control their ads experience, and is one of many updates LinkedIn plans to release to help members learn more about the ads they see on the site.

Transparency has been a major topic in the past few years, but hit a peak on Friday when Google faced consumer privacy and advertising transparency claims.



One claim involved refunds from an advertising fraud scheme that took place in 2017, while the other involved collecting data from within emails receipts that merchants send to consumers for online and offline transactions.

Advertising holding companies are having conversations among their respective agencies with Google to find remedies. This is not based on monetary losses, but rather based on trust, according to one agency.

“Google has promised to rebuild trust,” according to a person familiar with the 2017 fraud scheme.

Google is working to assess the impact, per advertisers, and create measures to avoid similar problems n the future, according to people close to the matter. 

Google offered to refund some of the money to hundreds of marketers and advertising agencies that had bought space through its online buying tool. The fraud scheme involved bots that boosted numbers and costs for the ads based on clicks.

Other money could not be returned, Google said, because the funds had already flowed from its Display & Video 360 platform to third parties. Some companies were satisfied with the response.

The online ad company AdTrader sued Google, arguing that part of the money went to ad marketplaces that Google owns such as AdX and AdSense.

The Wall Street Journal discovered through an internal Google memo unsealed last week that a Google engineer said the company didn’t pay about $75 million of refunds linked to its own products. 

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