Facebook: Yes, we’re adopting third-party auditing
Social network will pursue accreditation from the Media Rating Council
February 13, 2017
For months now, media buyers have been urging Facebook to add third-party verification of its numbers, after the social network revealed a series of measurement mishaps at the end of last year.
Without such verification, buyers said, they’d have trouble trusting any numbers Facebook gave them.
Evidently the social network is listening.
It says it will pursue several strategies to help reassure buyers the metrics it’s providing are reliable, starting with gaining accreditation from the Media Rating Council.
During a presentation last week to the Association of National Advertisers, Facebook representatives said the site will undergo auditing by MRC, an independent service that has certified ratings from Nielsen, comScore and more for years. It will mark the first time Facebook has sought such verification.
The social media company will also give granular data to Integral Ad Science, Moat and other third-party measurement services.
The data will include information such as how long ads appear on a screen and whether the video ran sound.
These third parties would then vet the data, which would make it more trustworthy for advertisers
A welcome development
Buyers should be pleased to hear about the moves. They’ve been frustrated by Facebook’s lack of transparency in the past, and the metrics issues that surfaced late last year eroded some of the trust the social network had been built up.
Media people said they wanted to see Facebook prove its dedication to advertisers by using third-party verification.
“This is a start, though we’ll see what comes of it,” says one buyer.
Procter & Gamble chief brand officer Marc Pritchard, who last month called for greater transparency from social networks, also praised the move.
“Facebook’s actions on media transparency are a positive step forward, particularly coming from one of the largest media players in the industry,” he says.
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