Facebook moves to pacify cautious advertisers with whitelisting and brand safety tools

Facebook begins experimenting with publisher whitelists

Looking to dial back advertisers’ brand safety concerns, Facebook has begun rolling out two whitelisting tools and a host of product updates designed to ‘maintain a high-quality ecosystem’.

Before today (20 November), advertisers could already view where their ads might appear and where they did appear, and control where they appeared within content.

They could also build a block list to prevent ads from appearing on specific publishers and add inventory filters to avoid being adjacent to any specific content.

Now, Facebook has made its advertiser controls more sophisticated with a slate of new brand safety announcements. These include:

  • The testing with ‘select advertisers’ of white lists on the off-Facebook, app-based Audience Network, and in-stream video ads on Facebook.
  • The roll-out of another white listing tool through ‘dynamic content sets’, which will allow partners to update and adjust video content placement ‘routinely’. This will be open to advertisers currently working with Integral Ad Science, OpenSlate and its new brand safety partner, Zefr.
  • The creation of a one-stop shop to create block lists, get delivery reports and set inventory filters within Business Manager or Ads Manager. This means advertisers will be able to create a master brand safety setting that can be applied to all of their campaigns; previously, they had to work on campaign at a time.

Additionally, Facebook has begun to form greater relationships with industry bodies. It has been hosting sessions with these organizations to educate members on how its operations team reviews content and enforces Facebook’s community standards.

In a blog post, the company said it now employs 35,000 people across its safety and security divisions. Their remits include removing ‘billions’ of fake accounts, reducing the spread of fake news and taking down harmful or offensive content.

“While we have zero tolerance for harmful content on our platforms, we recognize that doesn’t mean zero occurrence,” Facebook wrote in the post.

“It’s why we are tackling this challenge across the company working with industry, enlisting expertise across subject matters, and continuing to invest in the technology, tools and advancements that advertisers are asking for.”

The updates come just over 18 months after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which led a small but vocal group of advertisers to stop spending money with Facebook altogether.

Despite healthy profits predominantly driven by advertising revenues, clients have remained cautious about spending money in certain of the platform’s territories. Audience Network is one of these areas, AdAge reported.

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