An article in the Wall Street Journal says social media giant Facebook has agreed to independent audit of its ad metrics, fulfilling a major demand by the advertisers. The audit will be conducted by the media industry’s measurement watchdog, the Media Rating Council (MRC). The ad executives pushed for an independent audit after Facebook’s internal audits revealed the shortcomings of the data that drove the company’s advertising platform.

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Facebook representatives, including the company’s vice president of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson, revealed the plans for an external audit in a presentation attended by the board of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) as well as representatives of major advertisers like Proctor & Gamble. Ms. Everson stated Facebook will provide data to third parties like Integral Ad Science and Moat. The audited data will not only help media buyers develop their advertising strategy but also enhance the trust between Facebook and its media customers. Facebook’s internal audits have been criticized by the marketers because they lack the neutral element external audits carry. The attendees such as Proctor & Gamble’s Marc Pritchard were pleased and have termed Facebook’s new media policies a step in the right direction .

Ms. Everson also used the presentation to address other demands by the advertisers such as the ability to pay for only those videos that are watched to the end. While Facebook may offer ad options like these, Ms. Everson also addressed the potential shortcomings of such approaches such as the risk of reaching the wrong audience because different user groups have different browsing habits .

Facebook has listened to its advertisers by agreeing to independent audit of its internal data. This may enhance the advertisers’ trust in Facebook’s media platform and will also help them develop more effective advertising strategies.

    References
  • Shields, Mike. Facebook Agrees to Audit of its Metrics Following Data Controversy. 10 February 2017. 15 February 2017 .