Association of National Advertisers Calls for Transparency from Facebook after Video Controversy
Last week Facebook acknowledged that for the past two years it had miscalculated the average amount of time viewers spent watching videos on its platform. The social media giant notified advertisers that it had accidentally excluded video views that lasted less than three seconds from its average. Now the Association of National Advertisers has released a statement calling for Facebook to be audited and accredited. ANA CEO and president Bob Liodice asserts that all digital media owners should allow their ads to be measured for viewability by a third party, because that has been the standard accreditation practice marketers and agencies have relied on for decades. Read the full statement below.
Sept. 29, 2016 — The recent disclosures by Facebook that they overestimated video viewing for two years is troubling. 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.
Specifically, Facebook metrics are not accredited by the Media Rating Council (MRC); accordingly an audit of Facebook metrics has not been completed. With more than $6 billion of marketers’ media being directed to Facebook, we believe that it is time for them – and other such major media players – to be audited and accredited. That is the standard of accepted practice that marketers and agencies have relied on for decades.
In late 2015, ANA conducted a study of its members titled “The Critical Need for Accredited Third Party Measurement for Viewability of Digital Advertising”. The study concluded that “in a time of intense scrutiny on transparency and accountability, it is vitally important that:
- All digital media owners allow their inventory to be measured for viewability by a third party. The survey findings revealed that an overwhelming 97 percent of marketers believe that digital media owners should allow their inventory to be measured by a third party.
- Internal viewability measurements employed by digital media owners should not be used for the purposes of conducting outside commerce.
- Marketers and their agencies should only use third party vendors that have been accredited by the Media Rating Council for current industry-agreed viewability standards.
- Internal viewability measurements used by digital media owners for non-commerce purposes should be MRC accredited or IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) certified to help ensure comparability with commerce metrics.