Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ad auditing - even Facebook needs to comply

The Wall street journal posted an interesting article with the headline "Facebook Agrees to Audit of its Metrics Following Data Controversy".

The article summarizes how Facebook has been increasingly under fire because of mistakes found in its ad data over the last several months. As a result, FB has pledged to undergo "audits" by media watchdogs to appease ad-industry executives who are skeptical of Facebook's data reporting practices.

It was interesting how the writer used the analogy of Facebook's data review/report as equivalent to someone "grading their own homework" because it didn't allow for genuine third-party inspection of its data. I think all big media platforms who use this type of data to drive pricing and revenue streams should be subject to a similar type of granular, third-party data measurement.  However, its not an exact solution because attributing an ad's success to an actual purchase is extremely difficult --- an impression might help persuade a purchase decision, but not necessarily right away. Watchdogs, however, will hopefully help to keep big tech companies honest.


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