What Facebook Advertisers need to know after 2018 Data Scandal

16 April 2018
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After Mark Zuck’s 2-day grilling with Congress last week, we’ve already seen some rapid changes to Facebook’s advertising platform that will likely have a significant impact on digital targeting, and the industry as a whole, in the near future. While the effects are still somewhat uncertain in the United States, you’ve probably already noticed some changes that may have you questioning the value of the platform going forward. The reality is that these changes in privacy and data standards will likely not be isolated to Facebook, but will change the expectations for how major tech/internet companies deal with consumer privacy across the globe. Here’s a rundown of what we know so far.

Recent Amendments to Facebook Ad Manager

  • Facebook has rolled back the level of detail previous available within the ad platform about target audiences, such as audience size and potential reach.
  • Facebook recently announced that it will remove the ability to target by partner categories or consumer information from third-party companies like Acxiom, Experian, and Oracle Data Cloud. This will prohibit campaigns from using information about user buying behavior, life events, homeownership and income levels.
Audience Size and Reach are unavailable

Sample audience targeting female homeowners, ages 27 – 47 who like the Carolina Panthers and ALSO like the Atlanta Falcons. (FB and Instagram Feeds only)

What Is still the Same?

    • While the recent changes may have you discouraged, remember that Facebook is still one of the largest audience networks in the world. Recent stats show that there are 2 billion active users on Facebook and 1 billion users that engage with the platform daily. It is still an extremely powerful way to reach a mass number of the globe’s population.
      • Ads can still be targeted based on geography, demographics, industries, job titles, and interests. You may need to rethink your personas and diversify your ad spend across other channels but the level of targeting is still very sophisticated.

What to Do Now:

      • Continue to run campaigns, but monitor and stay up-to-date on recent changes in ad policies/guidelines.
      • Keep targeted campaigns nimble so you have the ability to adjust and adapt to new changes quickly. (Don’t set yearly budgets but rather run monthly or bi-monthly campaigns.)
      • Always keep ad copy relevant to your target audience and real customer personas.
      • Prepare for the future. Data Protection Regulations are on the rise.

Facebook has stated that they will be rolling out policies similar to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) standards and data opt-in requirements globally.

One of the most important takeaways of this for agencies will be the disclosure of how you are using tools like FB “pixels” ( which are different than cookies), and give users a clear option to opt-in/agree to having their information collected for the uses stated in the company’s site terms and conditions. This includes the use of pixels to:

      • Track views of product pages
      • Actions such as website conversions or sales
      • Collection information used for remarketing

It’s very important to stay in tune with new information that will be rolling out over the next few months and ensure that you’re in compliance with all advertising regulations. It could result in hefty fines for you and your clients if you don’t.

What Facebook Advertisers need to know after 2018 Data Scandal
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What Facebook Advertisers need to know after 2018 Data Scandal
Facebook's Ad Platform is changing rapidly in response to Mark Zuck's 2018 congressional hearing. Here's what advertisers need to know now.
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