Facebook Agrees to Audit of its Metrics Following Data Controversy
Tech giant met with ad-industry trade body to discuss data and ad product needs
Facebook has pledged to undergo audits by the media industry’s measurement watchdog, the Media Rating Council, people familiar with the matter say, a move that will likely please ad-industry executives who are skeptical of the tech giant’s data-reporting practices.
Ad executives have been clamoring for more independent verification of Facebook’s metrics, especially after a series of disclosures by the company in recent months about mistakes in its data.
Representatives from Facebook, including Carolyn Everson, the company’s vice president of global marketing solutions, delivered a presentation Thursday in Washington, D.C. to the board of the Association of National Advertisers, a trade group for marketers, the people familiar with the matter say.
Ms. Everson informed the group that Facebook plans to provide more granular data to third-party measurement partners such as Integral Ad Science and Moat. That will include metrics such as how many ads in a given campaign are viewable, how long these ads appear on various screens and whether sound was on for video ads.
That could mean that more Facebook data will be vetted by independent third parties, which advertisers can then use when evaluating media buys on the platform.
In addition, Ms. Everson pledged that Facebook will undergo MRC-administered audits to help marketers feel that Facebook is more accountable, the people familiar with the matter said.
The MRC, the media industry body that certifies measurement methods, declined to comment. Representatives from ANA couldn’t be reached for comment.
Facebook has been under fire of late for a series of embarrassing data mishaps. And advertisers have generally been frustrated by their belief that Facebook and other big digital platforms do the equivalent of grading their own homework, while not allowing for genuine third-party inspection of their data.