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Facebook must guarantee independent measurement or face global marketer action warns Australian advertiser body

FacebookFacebook has been warned that it needs to adopt third party verification of its data in order to regain the trust of marketers, or face a global crackdown by advertisers.

The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) issued a strident statement this morning telling the social media giant it needs to become more transparent and offer marketers and media buyers data that they could have faith in, or force marketers globally to unit to take action.

The demands come just days after Facebook admitted there were more errors in its measurement of organic reach, video, Instant Articles and referrals.

AANA CEO Sunita Gloster

AANA CEO Sunita Gloster

“If Facebook and others don’t move voluntarily to an independent verification, it will require the major advertisers around the world to cooperate and crack this problem and achieve independent accountability in the digital space,” the statement said.

“Media is traditionally the single largest marketing expense for a brand owner and marketers need to be able to make and defend these investments with confidence,” the AANA statement said.

“For decades, advertisers have relied upon a standard of accepted practice for traditional media that requires independent reporting and verification of their audiences and their usage patterns, which have typically been supported by all competitors in a specific media category.

“It is this third party verification that Facebook is currently lacking. The latest revelations by Facebook cast a cloud of doubt over how reliable Facebook’s data and self-reporting is.”

The AANA said its concerns about Facebook’s data was part of its growing focus on transparency in the media ecosystem and said that Facebook needed to be held to the same rule that had been established with other media platforms.

“The AANA believes the over-riding principles of comparability and accountability should govern all players in the media ecosystem,” it said.

“The AANA is encouraged by Facebook’s willingness to address the issue with third party providers and will await more detail.

“The AANA sees no reason why Facebook should not abide by the standards of independent verification and auditing that more traditional media players have signed up to for decades in order to assure advertisers of their media investments.”

However, a spokesperson for Facebook said the company was already working to develop third-party measurement.

“Facebook believes strongly in third-party verification to prove the business value we’re driving for our partners, and we have a long history of working with global industry leaders like comScore, Moat, Nielsen and Integral Ad Science (IAS),” the spokesperson said.

“We’re now exploring additional third-party reviews to validate the reporting we offer partners. We’re also launching the ability to verify display impression data through our third-party viewability verification partners, including Moat, IAS and comScore.”

Simon Canning

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