Facebook and Google are cleaning up their own backyards, but UK marketers remain cautious

Mar 12, 2018 · thedrum.com

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Transparency and brand safety – just two of the issues Facebook and Google had the chance to address to rooms full of marketers at two of the industry’s biggest events in the UK this week.

Here The Drum looks at how the duopoly’s dominance came under the spotlight once more this month at the annual conference held by the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (Isba) and the Guardian Changing Media Summit.

While Facebook and Google outlined the steps they have taken to improve their value for advertisers in the wake of ongoing concerns around over-inflation and some of ad land's top bods – including WPP and the UK government – have offered varying takes on what more the companies have to do to alleviate their concerns.

Transparency

Over the past 12 months, both Google and Facebook have been under pressure to be more transparent when it comes to their programmatic ad offerings – be it opening up to third-party measurement, detailing how they are combating ad fraud or in Facebook’s case being frank on user numbers.

Steve Hatch, vice-president for Facebook in Northern Europe, admitted that Facebook had been "too slow" in providing third-party measurement across its platform portfolio, which also includes Instagram.

He said Facebook now had 24 global third-party partners in total, including the likes of Integral Ad Science and Nielsen, which let advertisers assess the effectiveness of campaigns.

Hatch conceded: "That’s a number people are often surprised by, so I think we have to do a better job of letting [advertisers] know that it’s there."

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