Tuesday 20 March 2018

Facebook pledges to improve standards for advertisers

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Photo: Getty Images
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Photo: Getty Images

Douglas Busvine

Facebook says it has tightened its rules on who can make money from advertising on its network, in response to criticism that it is too simple for providers of fake news and sensational headlines to cash in.

The new standards coincided with an appearance by COO Sheryl Sandberg, pictured, in Germany, one of Facebook's toughest critics on hate speech and safeguarding privacy.

Facebook, together with Google, accounts for around two-fifths of internet advertising, which is forecast by consultancy Zenith to grow by 13pc to $205bn this year - overtaking TV as the biggest channel for companies to pitch their wares to consumers.

But marketing executives have criticised Facebook for failing to ensure that the digital ads distributed to its more than 2 billion active users reach their intended audience.

It has also drawn criticism from major advertisers for inflating audience figures and not adequately tracking ads, which were sometimes placed alongside content detrimental to the brands being promoted.

"We take very seriously our responsibility to earn and maintain the trust of people in businesses," Sandberg told dmexco, a digital marketing gathering in Cologne. "We hear their concerns about safe environments, about standards, about measurement, and this is critical to us," she said. (Reuters)

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