Facebook Errors Hurting Advertisers

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Over the last several months, Facebook has admitted to more than a few errors in their advertising measurement system and many advertisers are calling for an independent auditor.

According to Bloomberg, Facebook recently admitted to”faulty metrics” with its mobile publishing system, Instant Article. This will be the fourth time in a few months that Facebook has made measurement errors that can shortchange advertisers.

Facebook shared its first measurement error in September when they had inflated viewership numbers for its recently released video ads.

Then in November, the company disclosed additional metric errors. Facebook also announced new tools for third-party measurement companies like ComScore and Nielsen, to track their system more closely.

Earlier this month, Marketing Land, an industry publication, found discrepancies between Facebook’s internal metrics on how articles where shared and public measurements.

Facebook has acknowledged that error.

Brian Wiesner of Pivotal Research Group said, “That shouldn’t happen. If anyone was concerned that Facebook’s self-audit was not sufficient enough, they just proved it.”

There have been many calls by advertisers for a separate and independent organization to monitor the digital advertising of Facebook due to the recent multitude of admitted mistakes.

Facebook’s partners and competitors see the fact that Facebook is disclosing their errors as a sign of maturity and that Facebook may be realizing it’s time for an independent organization for auditing and measurement.

The large firms who purchase thousands of ads have made it clear that they will closely watch their spending on Facebook and possibly even move their advertising dollars to other avenues.

Rob Norman, chief digital officer for ad buyer GroupM said, “People will take a step back and certainly look again where Facebook sits in their mix. My sense is that a more pragmatic air will prevail.”

Norman compared the relationship between advertisers and the company to a marriage moving beyond the honeymoon stage.

Facebook knows that some advertisers may become nervous about wasted spending and could move their business elsewhere, however Weisner of Pivotal Research feels,”Facebook is still the foundation of your digital campaign,” he said. “It will hurt. But we’ll never be able to know with certainty.”

 

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