A step forward in social ad transparency: what do we know and how can we use it?
6 August, 2018
An insight by Jonathan Yantz, Senior Biddable Manager
In an important step, two social giants have revealed new ad disclosure policies which increase the transparency and visibility of ads run on their platforms. This has far-reaching consequences for producers and consumers, but also, more specifically, impacts the advertising strategies of brands and agencies.
Firstly, Facebook has created the ability to see all active ads a given brand is running on its platforms, ads that normally a user would not see unless they were being specifically targeted. This new policy includes ads released through Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network and any other Facebook partner. Using this functionality, it is possible to view all ads a page is running, including creative and copy, for any organization – though it is not yet possible to view dynamic ads.
Twitter has similarly followed suit, launching an ads database, termed the Ads Transparency Center, which allows users to search through all of the platform’s advertisers. The results showcase all ads that currently run on Twitter by each account, including promoted-only tweets. However, it is worth noting, Twitter only displays ads that have been live over the seven days prior to search. For both Twitter and Facebook, disclosure extends to all markets a brand is active in.
This increased transparency is crucial in helping to build trust between advertisers and consumers, but it also creates important new dynamics in the advertising industry. Brands and agencies will now be able to glean insights into their competitors and see how their own work stacks up in the mix. Though we still cannot see any information about ad targeting or the spend/scale, we can make inferences based on copy and imagery. While this may present a worry to some, it is also an important opportunity. With the trend towards increasing transparency, it is likely that this sort of disclosure will continue to grow and should be looked at as a chance to optimize strategy and operate with a greater breadth of information. At M&C Saatchi Performance, we will be monitoring this evolution now and in the future, in order to leverage new competitive advantages for our clients and partners.
If you would be interested in hearing more about how we can support you with your digital marketing efforts, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.