Facebook Changing Guidelines To Ensure Advertiser Brand Safety

As the world’s leading social media network, Facebook is, of course, a popular place online. But because of its size, the network is also consistently scrutinized whether for abuse or privacy or something else.

And it turns out, this time Facebook faces lots of concerns from marketers in regards to measurement and transparency issues surrounding the platform’s ad business. Specifically, though, two incidents reported last week—1) that Facebook reaches more Americans than the US census data actually shows; and 2) that fake Russian accounts bought approximately $100,000 ads in the two years leading up to May of this year—continue to discourage online marketers from buying space in the network.

But Facebook is making an attempt to address these concerns, now adding some tools they hope advertisers will embrace.

Facebook VP of Global Marketing Solutions, Carolyn Everson, comments, “This is an area where you’re going to see us make ongoing progress on and ultimately we care deeply about the health of the ecosystem on our platform­—that includes publishers, our consumers that use our products and advertisers. We want to ensure that advertisers feel confident in their investment on our platform and brand safety and what content ads are running against has been an area of concern.”

The concept of brand safety has been at the forefront of advertisers the past few years, particularly after hundreds pulled their YouTube ads when they found they were running next to content they consider objectionable. Essentially, advertisers learned their ads were running during, after, or in association with content that might feature questionable content like racism, pornography, terrorism, or violence.

Thus, Socialyse Executive Vice President and Managing Director Jessica Richards notes, “If you think about the way that YouTube did it with requiring a sizable community [for advertisers]—this brings it to that level of creating the credibility that I would think of similarly with how [Facebook] used to certify Pages. It’s almost a certification for the types of content that’s being created but then applied with an additional measure for them to vet the content before it’s going up.”

The new guidelines aim to better outline which content creators are eligible to participate in the advertising program and what type of content is appropriate in the support of advertising. These new guidelines read: “creators and publishers must have an authentic, established presence on Facebook—they are who they represent themselves to be and have had a profile or Page on Facebook over a sufficient period of time.”

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