The Associate of National Advertisers has openly called for the audit and accreditation of Facebook’s metrics by Media Rating Council. The request was made in light of the recent news the social media network’s disclosure had been giving marketers inflated numbers for the average time spent viewing online clips for two years.
“While ANA recognizes that ‘mistakes do happen,’ we also recognize that Facebook has not yet achieved the level of measurement transparency that marketers need and require,” said ANA President and CEO Bob Liodice in a statement. “Specifically, Facebook metrics are not accredited by the Media Rating Council (MRC); accordingly an audit of Facebook metrics has not been completed.”
Facebook came under fire last week after The Wall Street Journal reported the social media giant had for two years mistakenly inflated average viewing time for video ads on its platform by 60% to 80%. Facebook later apologized to clients for the miscalculation of the video metric.
Prior to an official audit, ANA suggests Facebook open up its measurement systems to the MRC for accreditation.
In a statement on Friday to WSJ, Facebook said it’s talking to the ANA about how the two organizations can work together more closely, but the company declined to comment on whether it will seek accreditation from the MRC.
“Trust and transparency with our partners are paramount to the operation of our company,” Facebook said. “Our focus has always been on driving business results for our clients, and we strongly believe in third-party verification. We have a history of working with industry leaders including Nielsen, Moat, and comScore – and we continue to explore more partnerships.”
More than $6 billion of marketers’ media are being directed to Facebook, according to Liodice in a statement, which is why it’s time for the social network, as well as “other such major media players” to be audited and accredited.
The question then becomes which “other” major media players.
Currently, no other social media networks have received a request from the ANA, but it will be interesting to see what other advertising-supported social networks, like Twitter and Snapchat, will do as this story develops.