Several days ago, Facebook released an article discussing their plan to offer greater transparency across several ads types in more countries.
They discussed that they ‘believe that transparency leads to increased accountability and responsibility over time – not just for Facebook but advertisers as well.’ Adding onto this, they also commented that they are going to ‘continue to introduce tools that allow elected officials, those seeking office, and organisations aiming to influence public opinion to show more information about the ads they run and who’s behind them.’
This new level of transparency was rolled out on the articles publish date (25th June)
You can see the full list of countries this is now available to here.
Advertisers will be hit by this new tool from the word go. At the authorisation process, they will have to disclose who is responsible for the ad, which will also appear on the ad itself. Additionally, both the as and ‘paid for by’ disclaimer will be archived in the ad library for a total of seven years, along with additional information, including the range of spend, impressions and demographics of the audience who have seen the ad.
Holding Advertisers Accountable
We are well aware that elections take place all over the world – though some with very little notice. Facebook went onto discuss that they are ‘committed to requiring authorisations and disclaimers for social issue, electoral or political ads in more places’
For this reason, it is now mandatory that advertisers be authorised and add disclaimers to their ads that feature in the 50+ countries and territories that Facebook have expanded their tools to.
There are also plans to roll out a new ‘Ad Library Report’ in some countries and enforcement is in place. This feature will allow all Facebook users to track and download aggregate spend data.
But in the case of those countries not included within the new Ad Library Report feature, it will be solely unto the advertiser to comply with any advertising laws and regulations in the specific countries that they choose to run their ads. If any ads break these policies, Facebook will be quick to remove the ads.
Expanding The Ad Library API
Facebook was honest in the fact that they couldn’t do this alone. So they are rolling out global access of the Ad Library API so that regulators, journalists, watchdog groups and so on can analyze ads that discuss social issues, elections or politics in order to help hold advertisers and Facebook accountable.