March 2022

Meta Taps Zefr for Independent Brand Suitability Reporting on Facebook Feed

The company continues to work closely with GARM on new controls

By David Cohen, editor of Adweek’s Social Pro Daily.

Brand suitability provider Zefr will be Meta’s initial partner for providing independent reporting on the context in which ads appear on Facebook Feed.

Meta said Zefr was selected after an extensive vetting process, and the two companies will collaborate on developing a solution to measure and verify the suitability of adjacent content to ads in Feed, starting with small scale testing in the third quarter and moving to limited availability in the fourth quarter.

The aim is to give Meta’s advertisers a better understanding of the types of content that appear adjacent to their ads, so that they can make informed decisions and reach their marketing goals on its platforms.

Once the integration with Zefr reaches limited availability, Meta will take steps to open up brand suitability integration opportunities for other badged partners.

Zefr co-founder and co-CEO Rich Raddon said in a statement, The future of the ad industry is moving toward transparent and accurate measurement for brand safety and suitability in complex environments, based on the Global Alliance for Responsible Media standards. Zefr is thrilled to partner with Meta to develop the first suitability measurement product for Feed, giving advertisers deeper transparency into their content adjacencies across Meta.”

GARM initiative lead, World Federation of Advertisers Rob Rakowitz added, In our quest to eliminate harmful content from ad-supported digital media, we need controls on where ads appear and measurement to verify the accuracy of those placements. Meta’s and Zefr’s partnership is a welcomed step that gives advertisers and agencies post-campaign transparency for Feed — a format that has been hard to measure for some time. This is a welcomed cornerstone for more work to come, and we are excited to see two GARM members address marketplace needs for transparency and accountability together.”

In other brand suitability news, Meta has been working closely with GARM as it develops content-based suitability controls to address advertisers’ concerns about their ads appearing adjacent to content that is not suitable for their brand preferences.

The company said the process of scoping and building these new controls is underway for the feeds of Facebook and Instagram in primarily English-speaking markets, with the goal of testing in the second half of 2022 and rolling them out more broadly early next year.

Over the course of the next year, surfaces including Instagram Explore, Reels, Stories and video feeds will be added, as will more languages.

Meta vice president, client council and industry trade relations Samantha Stetson said in a statement, Providing advertisers control over the content their ads appear next to is incredibly important work for us, and to our commitment to the industry via GARM. We’re excited with the progress we are making toward building content- based controls for Feed and are excited to start development with Zefr on third-party Feed verification. It will take time, but it’s the right work to do.”

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