COLOGNE – Could it be that Facebook finally considers itself to be a content company? The social media giant’s pledge at DMEXCO 2017 to institute new measures ensuring better brand safety for advertisers is a welcome example of a leadership position on the issue, according to MediaLink Vice Chairman Wenda Harris Millard.
“Facebook is a platform company. It didn’t really think of itself as a content company and responsible for a lot of this. I think a lot of the technology companies don’t,” Millard says in this interview at the DMEXCO advertising and media trade show.
Nonetheless, “They have absolutely committed to being the leader in what brand safety is all about in the digital space.”
Millard’s comments were in response to the disclosure by Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s VP of Global Marketing, that the social media giant will provide marketers with more reliable data about their ad campaigns and implement new content rules, as Advertising Age reports.
“I’m sure that Google and all the other players will be putting forth their own brand safety measures, but I really solute Facebook for making that announcement, taking the lead,” Millard says.
Content, measurement and brand safety issues have dogged Facebook for well over a year, the most recent being indications that Russian ad buys on the platform were intended to influence the 2016 U.S. General Election. All of these issues come into clear focus considering the combined footprint of both Facebook and Google.
“They own scale,” Millard says of the digital titans.
This is a source of unending frustration from both publishers and marketers that “there hasn’t been enough room outside Google and Facebook. But I think that’s not necessarily true. I think people are working very hard to get their stories told,” says Millard.
Consultancy MediaLink was acquired in early 2017 by Ascential plc, which owns the Cannes Lions Festivals, and by April had announced its intention to set up shop in London under Millard’s leadership. She’s pleased with results to date.
“The reception has been terrific. When we talk to brands they all have very, very common headaches and that’s all under the umbrella of digital transformation. It doesn’t matter what business you’re in as a brand. And that’s what we do.”
Having had a longtime presence at both Cannes and DMEXCO, Millard says DMEXCO’s founders have built “a very enviable franchise.”
This video is part a series that examines programmatic from both the seller and the buyer perspective. It is presented by PubMatic. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.