I wrote last week that Facebook can’t be fixed, and though I was not alone in voicing that sentiment it looks like the brands feel otherwise. AdAge lays out the latest developments in a good summary here.
Bottom line is that brands are staying put:
Though marketers such as Mozilla and Pep Boys have said they’re pulling spending on Facebook ads at least for now, advertisers across the board are more likely to keep buying there. They’re giving the social network the benefit of the doubt, calculating that its problems won’t taint them or both.
“We at Clorox stand by Facebook as an essential partner in building our brands,” Clorox Co. Chief Marketing Officer Eric Reynolds said in a statement. “We feel good about the steps Facebook is taking to protect people’s privacy and security and are confident it will continue to be aggressive in honoring its commitments to the Facebook community of advertisers and users above all else.”
Maybe this explains why:
“Facebook is getting critiqued and criticized for not taking a level of action that quite frankly may have gone beyond what was normally expected,” Jakeman says. “Rather than everybody pile on and demonize Facebook, can we all just as an industry say, if it happened to Facebook, it could happen to any platform. It could happen to any brand associated with that platform.”
Some marketers are watching to see whether the “#deleteFacebook” movement gains steam or an Federal Trade Commission inquiry leads to anything. But for the foreseeable future, Facebook will remain so powerful that even marketers that might rather step away would be hard-pressed to find alternatives.
“As a marketer, when I’m weighing the downsides like this of working with Facebook versus the upsides, I can genuinely say the good far outweighs the bad,” Jakeman says.
But some things are changing:
On Wednesday night, Facebook said it would remove ad targeting options that relied on consumer data from outside companies such as Acxiom, Oracle Data Cloud and Epsilon, a move that it cast as shoring up user privacy. “This product enables third-party data providers to offer their targeting directly on Facebook,” a spokeswoman said. “While this is common industry practice, we believe this step, winding down over the next six months, will help improve people’s privacy on Facebook.”
While it may have been a necessary change, it won’t dent Facebook’s dominance, one agency executive said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss business partners. “Regarding advertising performance on FB, it will hurt a little in the short term as some advertiser ROIs may diminish and therefore their spends will too,” the agency executive said in an email, referring to advertisers’ return on their investment. “But longer term, FB will probably figure out how to replace it with their own data and find a way to not let third parties profit off of their audiences.”
“It is still the second biggest media platform in the world and a very hard spend to replace in a digital media plan,” the executive added.
But the jury is still out I guess:
Marketers are nonetheless keeping an eye out for further fallout: Some say they’re watching the #deleteFacebook movement to see if it yields any meaningful drop in users. R/GA, using Crimson Hexagon, said this week it had seen about 450,000 #deleteFacebook posts on social media between March 17th and the 25th, primarily on Twitter. But those messages, of course, don’t necessarily correspond to how many people have actually deactived their accounts. And the trend might be slowing down: Wednesday, March 21, saw 100,000 such posts; Sunday the 25th only had 28,000.