Facebook Inc. advertisers probably won’t “like” its subpar rating from a media industry watchdog.
The Media Rating Council (MRC) review found that the California-based social media giant has failed to address advertisers’ concerns arising from an Ernst & Young audit over how it measures and reports data about video advertisements.
“The Committee felt strongly that the lack of response and detailed action plans by Facebook within 60 days would lead them to take negative action,” according to a letter to the company reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. “This feedback should be considered a strong message to Facebook.”
The New York-based MRC was founded by Congress in the 1960s to verify that media companies are getting what they pay for when it comes to advertising.
The letter highlights continued tension between the world’s largest social network and advertisers, who want to know what they are getting in exchange for billions of dollars spent on Facebook pages.
The watchdog has warned Facebook that it could be denied accreditation based on how it reports on the effectiveness of advertising on its products, specifically its video ads.
Facebook expressed disappointment to WSJ that the letter was made public. “These exchanges are part of the audit process,” Facebook said. “We will continue working with MRC on accreditation, as we have since 2016.”
George Ivie, MRC’s executive director, said the Facebook audit is incomplete and declined to comment further, the news service said.
MRC “is looking for a proper accounting for video in a compliant manner,” the letter says. If Facebook does not comply within two months, it could be denied accreditation for video ad views.
Accreditation from the agency is a signal to advertisers of its trustworthiness. While losing certification wouldn’t have a formal consequence, it could influence how some brands spend their advertising dollars, the news service reported.
The WSJ said the audit process started in 2016, when Facebook acknowledged it has overstated its video viewing statistics for more than two years, the report said. At the time, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg pledged to “get it right,” and agreed to provide the MRC with the data and access needed to evaluate its compliance.