Facebook pitches brand-safe video ad buys for $750,000, but lack of control irks buyers
With advertisers clamoring for uncontroversial environments, Facebook is pitching a brand-safe program to advertisers, but the black-box nature of the proposal has some ad buyers balking.
Facebook is offering the chance to buy ads against what it considers its most brand-safe videos, according to four agency executives that have been briefed on the pitch. The company is asking advertisers to commit to spend $750,000 over three months, at $250,000 a month, to participate in the program, said two execs. That amount of money is considered to be a bargain for brand-safe video inventory on a major platform like Facebook, but there are aspects of the experiment that undercut its value to ad buyers.
Ad buyers that have been pitched on the deal said Facebook is giving them limited control over where their ads would appear and that they’re leery of trusting Facebook to determine what videos are brand-safe or not.
Facebook’s program seems to parallel Google’s Google Preferred program that packages YouTube’s top channels into a separate bundle, though how brand-friendly that bundle is remains an open question. For now, Facebook’s program is being described as a test, but it comes in anticipation of Facebook letting advertisers only buy ads to run before or during videos in its YouTube-rivaling Watch hub. The test includes but is not limited to inventory in Facebook’s dedicated video section but also spans videos running elsewhere on Facebook. The company is characterizing this inventory to advertisers as its “best, brand-safe inventory,” as one agency exec put it.
A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment.
Unlike the regular ads Facebook attaches to videos as mid-rolls or, more recently, pre-rolls, advertisers in the test can’t target their ads based on categories such as viewers’ interests, locations or gender. Instead the ads will only be broadly targeted to viewers 18 years old and older, according to the agency execs. Facebook will only bill advertisers participating in the test for ad impressions delivered to viewers in that demographic group as measured by Nielsen, according to one of the agency execs and another person familiar with the matter.
Further frustrating ad buyers, Facebook will not allow advertisers to specify which publishers’ videos they do or not want their ads to appear against, the execs said. That lack of control had led to advertiser pushback against Watch as well as Facebook’s broader pre-roll and mid-roll inventory and its ad network business.
“For our clients, I pretty much told my team we’re not doing any in-stream video because of brand-safety [concerns],” said one agency executive.
Facebook has begun to try to address those concerns, if slowly.
Last year, the company said that by the end of 2017 it would provide all advertisers with lists of which publishers’ videos might carry their ads before the spots were bought, but those pre-campaign placement reports have only been made available to brands buying ads directly from Facebook. Facebook also said last year that it would give advertisers lists of which publishers’ videos did in fact carry their ads, but those reports have also been delayed and are expected to be made available to all advertisers buying its ads directly by the middle of 2018.
The Washington Post hopes to bring in young, diverse readers with a cross-company task force
The "Next Generation" task force will work to figure out new products, partnerships and initiatives to draw in more readers who are young and from around the country and the world.
California Attorney General says popular, digital ad opt-outs from trade groups don’t comply with CCPA
Commonly used opt-out tools from the Network Advertising Initiative and Digital Advertising Alliance will not suffice for compliance with California's privacy law.
Hearst UK wants all of its brands to have Good Housekeeping’s authority in product testing
The Good Housekeeping Institute set the precedent for Hearst UK and the new Hearst Institute is looking to replicate those successes across all its brands.
SponsoredData-driven solutions: Charting a better way forward for brands and publishers
Travis Clinger, senior vp of addressability and ecosystem, LiveRamp Updates to mobile identifiers and browser data privacy policies have become an everyday part of life in the advertising industry. The browsers and device manufacturers have made privacy a competitive differentiator, as consumers have become increasingly concerned over how their data is being used. As an […]
Member ExclusiveDigiday Research: The pandemic sped the wrong things up for publishers
Publishers are now much more reliant on direct-sold ads, and at an industry level, diversification strategies have made little progress.
Why two brothers are betting on creating new brands and e-commerce to grow their media company
Former Bonnier Corp. CEO Eric Zinczenko is the new COO/president of his brother David Zinczenko's company Galvanized Media.