Bank Of America has joined the ranks of big-brand advertisers calling for Facebook’s advertising boasts to be more transparent, after the social network admitted inflating video metrics for two years.

Last month, Facebook conceded it had erred in the way it calculates average video view duration, leading advertisers to believe in numbers that were actually overstated.

“The error does not impact trading,” Bank Of America’s communications, planning, media and investment SVP Lou Paskalis tells Beet.TV in this video interview. “It does impact our perception of experience quality. Facebook has always enjoyed what appeared to be a very high view rate in comparison to other platforms – that’s no longer true.

“They were using the wrong number. The net effect is actually a 200-300% overstatement of the view rate.”

Representing ad buyers, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) acknowledges the overstatement to have been a mistake but complains: “Facebook has not yet achieved the level of measurement transparency that marketers need and require.

“Facebook metrics are not accredited by the Media Rating Council (MRC); accordingly an audit of Facebook metrics has not been completed. With more than $6 billion of marketers’ media being directed to Facebook, we believe that it is time for them – and other such major media players – to be audited and accredited.”

And that is a call Paskalis is backing. He says major “walled gardens” like Facebook are super-dominant, with Facebook and Google combined taking 64% of global digital ad money. So he wants them to be judged by a common standard, agreeing the MRC is a good place to start.

“We need to be more conscious of what those numbers are… full data transparency across all platforms,” Paskalis says.

“We need to make sure everyone’s providing the same data. These four walled gardens are not sharing that data.

“We need a common currency. Everyone needs to agree that the metrics we use for the count of video views are the same. We can’t have idiosyncrasies on different platforms, or marketers will lose relevance.”


This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the IAB MIXX Conference, 2016, presented by The TradeDesk.   Please find additional videos from the Conference here.