Meta Platforms responds to advertiser demands with new ad placement controls

(MENAFN) Meta Platforms Inc. has responded to advertisers' demands for greater control over ad placement by rolling out a new system that allows them to determine where their ads are shown. The system offers three risk levels that advertisers can select, with the most conservative option excluding placements above or below posts with sensitive content such as weapons, sexual innuendo, and political debates. This move is a response to advertisers' concerns about their ads appearing alongside hate speech, fake news, and other offensive content on Facebook and Instagram.

Meta's new system also includes a report via advertising measurement firm Zefr that shows Facebook advertisers the precise content that appeared near their ads and how it was categorized. This tool will provide marketers with greater control over where their ads appear online and help prevent ads from showing alongside controversial content. The company, formerly known as Facebook, has faced criticism from advertisers for doing too little to prevent their ads from appearing alongside offensive content.

In July 2020, thousands of brands joined a boycott of Facebook amid anti-racism protests in the United States, and in response, Meta agreed to develop tools to "better manage advertising adjacency" among other concessions. The new system is part of the company's efforts to address advertisers' concerns and improve its platform's advertising features.

Samantha Stetson, Meta's Vice President for Client Council and Industry Trade Relations, said that the company expects to introduce more granular controls over time, allowing advertisers to specify their preferences around different social issues. She also noted that early tests showed no significant change in ad performance or price for ads placed using more restrictive settings, and those involved in the tests were "pleasantly surprised."

However, Stetson cautioned that the pricing dynamic could change, given the auction-based nature of Meta's ad system and the reduction in inventory associated with any restrictions. The controls will be available initially in English- and Spanish-speaking markets, with plans to expand them to other regions and to the company's Reels, Stories, and video ad formats later this year.


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