Latest Facebook reporting errors will make industry pause for thought, say execs

Facebook’s admissions around a string of long-running measurement errors in metrics reporting yesterday will make clients reassess what they spend with the platform, according to industry insiders.

David Angell, general manager and head of media at Trinity P3 told Mumbrella that while clients and agencies will continue to spend with the platform, there will be calls for “clear cut re-assurances from Facebook that this isn’t going to happen again”.

David Angell

Angell: ‘The industry will want reassurance’

Yesterday Facebook admitted to a string of errors with some of its key campaign metrics including page insights, video views, Instant Articles and referrals, on top of its admission in September about other issues with the number of views on videos.

But Angell said while the measurement fiasco may affect the amount of budget some clients place with Facebook as they assess the impact on the content they run through the site, it will remain a large part of the media mix for many.

Paul Brooks, CEO of media agency Carat, said the industry is still grappling to fully understand what the review means and what impact it will have and, “more importantly what initiatives and transparency they will provide moving forward”.

Brooks: "an industry-wide solution is needed"

Brooks: “an industry-wide solution is needed”

“It is certainly an industry-wide problem and challenge, and I think what will happen through this will be an industry-wide solution to address and improve all of these metrics around brand safety, viewability – all of those parameters”.
However, Dan Monheit, director of strategy at Hardhat Digital said Facebook have made a good start by acknowledging and taking action towards resolving the errors.
“It speaks a lot to Facebook as a business and to digital as a part of the industry that it’s built around transparency and Facebook knows better than anybody that you can’t hide stuff on the internet,” he said.

“I don’t think anybody could put an argument forward that they have deliberately misled people it would not serve Facebook’s interest to deliberately mislead people”.
Monheit said in the long run the measurement errors would benefit Facebook and the industry as it will be able to rectify and address the issue moving forward.

The issue of independent auditing was taken up by Tim Worner, Seven West Media chief executive, at the Screen Forever conference yesterday.

He told the session: “They can’t keep marking their own scorecard and getting away with this. It’s not sustainable. What we’d like to see is action; talk is cheap.

“[Facebook is] not setting out to eat away at the core of our ­industry, but that’s what could be happening and we all need to be aware of that. Until such time as there’s independent measurement for all, it won’t be fair.”

The latest admissions have also opened the field for criticism from traditional media, with, Kim Portrate, CEO of ThinkTV noting in a statement its OzTam measurement system is due to expand by 50% next year.

Portrate pushed TV's 'independent' measurement

Portrate pushed TV’s ‘independent’ measurement

“When it comes to advertisers and their agencies deciding where to invest their budgets and having confidence they are reaching the audience they need,” she added.

“Buyers of Australian TV ad spots can invest knowing that this industry’s audience metrics have been continuously audited, independently, for 16 years – and show a daily reach of 16 million Australians”.

More soon.


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