Online advertising absurdity is about to reach new heights and should provide lots of rollicking good fun in the new year.
Now that Facebook's so-called metrics have been exposed as self-serving baloney, some previously brain-dead advertisers are starting to ask questions. It's only taken them 10 years.
The result is that Facebook is being dragged kicking and screaming into the real world of real advertising. Advertisers are starting to insist that Facebook allow third party monitoring of their numbers like every other responsible media company on the planet (except, of course, the other aristocracy of arrogance at Google.)
Facebook is grudgingly allowing some limited third party monitoring and what is leaking out ain't pretty.
According to Business Insider,
having seen some third party data, the director of Omnicom's online trading desk had this to say, "Facebook ads are far less viewable than people were expecting." Really? Not this people.
I predict Facebook will not just continue to stonewall but will actually make it harder for advertisers to get at their real numbers. Why? Because they're hiding stuff
and they will fight to the death rather than give it up. Remember, you read it here first.
My favorite Facebook smokescreen of the past few weeks doesn't even pass the giggle test.
It's how they are trying to define an "impression." The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) definition of an online impression is hilarious. They say that if half the pixels of an ad are viewable for one
second, that's an impression. Half the screen for a second. Ring it up!
But this definition isn't ludicrous enough for Facebook. According to Facebook's VP of advertising, to count as an impression an ad should meet these exacting criteria -- "more than zero pixels, more than zero seconds." He said this with a straight face.
He went on to say, "Some people... have a standard that's lower than that." Really? Lower than zero? No, you can't make this shit up.
Essentially what he is saying is that anything
that exists is an impression, whether it is seen or not. You know why they want to define an impression this way, right? Because everyone scrolls right by their ads. So if you're scrolling by an ad, well, it was there for more than zero seconds, right? Impression! Ring it up!
This would be laughable if it wasn't so indicative of the con game that is online advertising. Calling it theater of the absurd is an insult to absurdity.