ANA CEO Bob Liodice on the Facebook Video Viewing Controversy

September 29, 2016

By Bob Liodice, CEO, ANA

Sept. 29, 2016 — The recent disclosures by Facebook that they overestimated video viewing for two years is troubling. 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.

Specifically, Facebook metrics are not accredited by the Media Rating Council (MRC); accordingly an audit of Facebook metrics has not been completed. With more than $6 billion of marketers’ media being directed to Facebook, we believe that it is time for them – and other such major media players – to be audited and accredited. That is the standard of accepted practice that marketers and agencies have relied on for decades.

In late 2015, ANA conducted a study of its members titled “The Critical Need for Accredited Third Party Measurement for Viewability of Digital Advertising”. The study concluded that “in a time of intense scrutiny on transparency and accountability, it is vitally important that:

  • All digital media owners allow their inventory to be measured for viewability by a third party. The survey findings revealed that an overwhelming 97 percent of marketers believe that digital media owners should allow their inventory to be measured by a third party.
  • Internal viewability measurements employed by digital media owners should not be used for the purposes of conducting outside commerce.
  • Marketers and their agencies should only use third party vendors that have been accredited by the Media Rating Council for current industry-agreed viewability standards.
  • Internal viewability measurements used by digital media owners for non-commerce purposes should be MRC accredited or IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) certified to help ensure comparability with commerce metrics.

ANA believes that these are the “table stakes” for digital advertising. Fairness, equity, comparability and accountability should be the overriding principles that should govern all parties in the ecosystem. ANA does not believe there are any pragmatic reasons that a media company should not abide by the standards of accreditation and auditing.

ANA encourages all marketers to ensure that they are meeting the highest quality standards for accountability and measurement as they are building and executing their brand building media plans.

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