As concerns about inappropriate content on Facebook increase, some advertising agencies are recommending against buying certain types of Facebook ads. But so far, advertisers are not heeding their warnings — Facebook's audience is too large and its targeting too good.
Facebook is maxing out on places to put ads in the Facebook News Feed and Instagram areas without annoying its users. Instant Articles and Audience Network provide alternate Facebook-owned venues to put ads and gain revenue, but several agencies have become concerned enough about fake news and trolling to warn their clients away from these products.
Digitas, whose clients have included Buick, Dunkin' Donuts and Whirlpool, has expressed concerns about Facebook's Audience Network, a program that lets advertisers buy ads on a network of third-party websites. It is also cautious about Instant Articles, a way for publishers to upload their articles onto the Facebook platform.
"Digitas advises clients against running [ads] in Audience Network or Instant Articles until the point at which Facebook provides 100 percent transparency on the partners within its network and simplified tools for us to control where our ads are placed," said Jeanne Bright, vice president and group director of paid social at Publicis' DigitasLBi.
The majority of the Facebook ads Digitas buys for its clients are in the Facebook News Feed, Instagram and Instagram Stories, all of which are safe for advertisers, Bright said.
Noble People, an ad agency that has worked with Coca-Cola and PayPal, is also concerned about Audience Network. Noble's media director, Matt Borchard, explained, "there's no control as to where you show up and video is served as mid-roll which as a consumer I absolutely loathe."