Facebook agrees to be audited by Media Rating Council following misreporting scandal

Facebook adds new video metrics and will be audited by MRC

Facebook has agreed to be audited by the media industry’s measurement watchdog, the Media Rating Council (MRC), following backlash from the ad industry for its misreporting of data.

The MRC will verify the accuracy of the information it delivers to partners, after revelations last year that it had been misreporting its metrics for video ads and publisher partners.

Pressure mounted on the platform last week when Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer for Procter & Gamble, called for more transparent measurement practices by big tech companies.

It quickly extended its third-party verification partners to include 24 globally, including ComScore, Integral Ad Science, Visual IQ, Nielsen, Quantium, Moat, Kantar Millward Brown, Acxiom and more.

In a blog post announcing the updates, Facebook wrote that it wants to “provide transparency, choice and accountability” to all of the four million advertisers buying across Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network.

It has also unveiled updates to its ad offering that will include a new set of KPIs for advertisers to trade on, more impression-level data, and further third party verification partners.

“Transparency through verified data that shows which campaigns drive measurable results, choice in how advertisers run campaigns across our platforms, and accountability through an audit and third-party verification,” the blog post read.

In its bid to become more transparent, it will provide more detailed impression-level data to marketers that will include the milliseconds that an ad was on the screen, milliseconds that 50% of the ad was on the screen, milliseconds that 100% of the ad was on the screen.

As advertisers have queried the value of a view on video ads on Facebook, which historically has represented three seconds of viewing with sound-off, the platform has unveiled three new buying options for video ads across its platforms.

This includes completed view buying; a video ad that has been viewed in its entirety for any duration up to 10 seconds, two-second buying; where at least 50% of an ad's pixels are in-view for two continuous seconds or longer in line with the MRC video standard, and sound-on buying.

Jessica Goodfellow

The Drum's media reporter covering everything from publishing, TV, social media, radio and technology.

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