Facebook’s Will Easton apologises to Australian marketers and brands

Facebook Australia’s managing director Will Easton has taken to the stage to apologise to Australian brands, advertisers and marketers for letting them down.

Easton: Saying sorry on behalf of Facebook

Easton offered the apology at a Starcom event, but delegates were then urged by the media agency’s CEO Toby Barbour to keep the questions strictly about the Media Futures report “out of respect for Starcom Media Futures and the event we’re actually here to represent today”.

Easton assured the crowd of marketers and media that the Cambridge Analytica scandal had no impact on Facebook’s advertising platform.

From a consumer perspective, Easton said the social media platform had already taken steps to ensure its performance and offering was more in line with users’ expectations.

After the panel, Easton was unable to answer any more questions from either Mumbrella or Which 50 about the scandal, Facebook’s plans for the future and what it’s doing to repair its relationship with media owners and brands, instead directing enquiries to his communications team.

Eaton’s full statement on stage at Starcom’s Media Futures launch:

Easton (left) immediately after his apology at Starcom Media Futures


Thank you for the opportunity to say a few words, because I do genuinely think it’s important.

So first of all, just on behalf of Facebook, I think we want to apologise and I certainly want to apologise for any concerns the last week has provided for you guys in the audience, particularly concerns for our users and people across the industry.

As a company we’ve always been focused on building products and services that we believes are net positive contributors to our community. And that’s allowed people to connect with the people, places and things that are important to them. And I think some of the videos we showed today are good examples of that.

As we’ve gone through that journey, we’ve always recognised that we have a significant responsibility to [protect] people’s data. And over the last week, and everyone was aware of some of the announcements, I think it’s fair to say that we haven’t met those expectations.

And it’s something we’re taking incredibly seriously as a company, it’s something we’re very focused on. And we’ve already announced a number of immediate measures that we’re taking to make sure that we increase the level of protection for our users.

And that involves looking at every single app that’s on Facebook, and sharing with those people that have been affected by some of the issues around Cambridge Analytica.

In terms of the Australian market which is equally as important to all of us, we’ve been in close contact with many of you over the last week, both from an agency, advertiser and association perspective. I actually want to take this opportunity to thank people for their support and their collaboration through some pretty challenging times.

From an advertiser perceptive, I think probably the first point to make is that Cambridge Analytica has no impact on Facebook advertising platform. We’re pretty clear about that.

And then from a user perspective, we’re going to be very very transparent about which users across the world have been affected by some of the issues, and that will obviously include any Australian users as well. So that’s a quick update from our perspective.



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