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Facebook holds talks with measurement watchdog amid metrics furore


By The Drum Team | Editorial

December 26, 2016 | 3 min read

Facebook has reportedly held talks with the Media Ratings Council (MRC), the measurement watchdog for advertisers in the US, around auditing and accrediting its metrics amid speculation that its own reporting cannot be trusted following a series of mistakes in the verification of its own metrics.

Facebook seeking head of news partnerships

Facebook holds talks with measurement watchdog amid metrics furore.

The MRC revealed to AdAge that “direct discussions” between itself and Facebook had taken place earlier this year.

“Facebook has yet to choose to commit to engage in the MCR accreditation process,” said David Gunzerath, associated director and senior vice president at the auditor. “We would very much like them to do so. We’ve had very direct discussions with Facebook about it.”

“I think they’d be wise in the long-term to do it,” he added. “It would certainly benefit the marketplace which relies on their data and I think ultimately it would serve to benefit them as well.”

Facebook is yet to confirm it has had the talks but the prospect of having an outside auditor could placate those growing calls for it to be more open to sharing its data with third-parties. A series of high-profile accounting errors in the way Facebook calculates metrics has seen perception of its advertising offer take a beating in recent months, with the social network bolstering existing deals with the likes of Moat and Comscore to assuage any concerns.

Despite these recent deals, the social network had prior tie-ups with a small number of outside firms to provide measurement services. Indeed, Comscore, Integral Ad Science and Nielsen already verify some ad metrics as part of a move launched in April that Facebook said would “offer more advertisers the transparency they need to trust their ad delivery data”.

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