News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Unfortunately for Facebook, its ad claims don't gain it entry to the Russia party. Hillary super PAC spent $6 million on ads in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in week before election alone. At best only $6500 in Facebook ads could possibly have run in swing states in entire 2016. In 1996 Chinese gov. spent hundreds of thousands on Bill Clinton re-election, AG Janet Reno rejected calls for independent counsel-Wall St. Journal, Mark Penn, op-ed

"In the last week of the [2016] campaign alone, Mrs. Clinton’s super PAC dumped $6 million in ads into Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin." Facebook totals inexplicably are from a two year period, June of 2015 throught May of 2017-including 7 months AFTER the election.

10/15/17, "You Can’t Buy the Presidency for $100,000," Wall St. Journal, Mark Penn, op-ed (Penn was chief strategist for Hillary's 2008 pres. campaign, her 2000 Senate campaign, and for Bill Clinton's 1996 pres. campaign)

"Russia didn’t win Trump the White House any more than China re-elected Bill Clinton in 1996."

"The fake news about fake news is practically endless. Americans worried about Russia’s influence in the 2016 election have seized on a handful of Facebook ads—as though there weren’t also three 90-minute debates, two televised party conventions, and $2.4 billion spent on last year’s campaign. The danger is that bending facts to fit the Russia story line may nudge Washington into needlessly and recklessly regulating the internet and curtailing basic freedoms.

After an extensive review, Facebook has identified [that during a two year period, 7 months of which were AFTER the election] $100,000 of ads that came from accounts associated with Russia. Assume for the sake of argument that Vladimir Putin personally authorized this expenditure. Given its divisive nature, the campaign could be dubbed “From Russia, With Hate”—except it would make for a disappointing James Bond movie.

Analyzing the pattern of expenditures, and doing some back-of-the-envelope math, it’s clear this was no devilishly effective plot. Facebook says 56% of the ads ran after the election, reducing the tally that could have influenced the result to about $44,000. It also turns out the ads were not confined to swing states but also shown in places like New York, California and Texas. Supposing half the ads went to swing states brings the total down to $22,000."... 










[Links for above paragraph: Facebook says only about 25% were "geographically targeted" (no locations mentioned), and of those "more ran in 2015 than 2016." They've already said that 56% of the total ran AFTER the election. Not stated is how many of the "targeted" ads ran after the election.] 

(continuing): "Facebook also counted ads as early as June 2015. Assuming they were evenly spread and we want only those that ran the year of the election, that knocks it down to $13,000. Most of the ads did not solicit support for a candidate and carried messages on issues like racism, immigration and guns. The actual electioneering then amounts to about $6,500. 

Now look at the bigger picture. Every day, Americans see hundreds of ads on TV and radio, in newspapers and magazines, on billboards and smartphones. North Americans post to Facebook something like a billion times a day, and during the election many of those messages were about politics. Facebook typically runs about $40 million worth of advertising a day in North America. 

Then consider the scale of American presidential elections. Hillary Clinton’s total campaign budget, including associated committees, was $1.4 billion. Mr. Trump and his allies had about $1 billion. Even a full $100,000 of Russian ads would have erased just 0.025% of Hillary’s financial advantage. In the last week of the campaign alone, Mrs. Clinton’s super PAC dumped $6 million in ads into Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

I have 40 years of experience in politics, and this Russian ad buy, mostly after the election anyway, simply does not add up to a carefully targeted campaign to move voters. It takes tens of millions of dollars to deliver meaningful messages to the contested portion of the electorate. Converting someone who voted for the other party last time is an enormously difficult task.

Swing voters in states like Ohio or Florida are typically barraged with 50% or more of a campaign’s budget. Try watching TV in those states the week before an election and you will see how jammed the airwaves are. 

No one wants foreign governments meddling in American elections. In 1996, the Chinese government had the “China plan” and pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into Bill Clinton’s re-election campaign. There were congressional investigations, and several fundraisers were prosecuted, but Attorney General Janet Reno rejected calls for an independent counsel

Campaigns tightened up their donor-validation procedures, and life moved on. The same is called for here. Internet companies should improve their screening of electioneering ads, impose clearer standards on all ads, and do a better job weeding out phony accounts. 

Millions of taxpayer dollars have probably been spent already poring over that $100,000 of Facebook ads. Better to keep it all in perspective, as everyone did in 1996. The only way Russia will get its money’s worth is if Washington overreacts and narrows the very freedoms that make America different in the first place." [Facebook says roughly 25% of the ads were never shown to anyone.]

---------------

Added: Per advertising industry experts, Facebook grossly inflates ad reach claims: Facebook’s ad reach figures outpace U.S. Census estimates for every single state in the U.S. citing more people than actually exist. Analyst on Facebook miscalculations: "There appears to be a systematic misrepresentation of data across the board, at a scale unlike anything we’ve ever seen," per VAB president and CEO Sean Cunningham-Adweek, 10/2/17

10/2/17, "Facebook Ad Reach is More than U.S. Census Bureau Data in All 50 States (Report)," adweek.com, David Cohen 

"Facebook’s ad reach figures outpace U.S. Census estimates for every single state by anywhere from 3 percent to 42 percent." 

"Facebook’s issues with reporting ad reaches larger than the actual population base appear to be even more prevalent, according to a new report from the Video Advertising Bureau.
Early last month, Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser pointed out discrepancies between Facebook’s ad reach and U.S. Census Bureau data, including:
A Facebook spokesperson said in an email to Adweek at the time, “Reach estimations are based on a number of factors, including Facebook user behaviors, user demographics, location data from devices and other factors. They are designed to estimate how many people in a given area are eligible to see an ad that a business might run. They are not designed to match population or census estimates. We are always working to improve our estimates.” 

The VAB took a closer look in the report it released Monday, and its findings included:

Facebook’s ad reach figures outpace U.S. Census estimates for every single state in the U.S. by anywhere from 3 percent to 42 percent.


*While Facebook cited visitors from different areas as one of the reasons for its reach topping U.S. Census figures, the same reach figures are generated when advertisers select “everyone” in the U.S. or users who “live” in the U.S.

*The gap between Facebook’s ad reach figures and U.S. Census date for users 18 through 34 is “much more pronounced within the 10 most populous cities.”

 





 


  • The VAB said in the conclusion of its report,Whether this is truly another metrics glitch remains to be seen. However, with questions of trust regarding ad-tech platforms at an all-time high among many marketers, our analysis provides another instance where first-party data should at least be questioned, or even challenged, particularly when the numbers don’t align with universally accepted metrics such as U.S. Census Bureau population data and basic media math.

  • And VAB president and CEO Sean Cunningham said in a statement emailed to Social Pro Daily: “It’s difficult to understand how a precision platform, such as Facebook, could continue to miscalculate these numbers time and time again. Rather, there appears to be a systematic misrepresentation of data across the board, at a scale unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Advertisers need to know that the data and metrics they’re viewing are valid, and third-party verification, rather than simply accepting data at face value, is the only way to ensure that advertisers get what they pay for.”

    Facebook had not yet responded to a request for comment at the time of this post." 
    ........................... 
    ............................

    Added: Facebook's "Trust-me metrics:"

    "Facebook has promulgated a number of "trust-me metrics...There is a pattern. All of them are about giving the appearance of being bigger.""...

    10/4/17, "Facebook accused of inflating its reach among young adults," Poynter.org, Rick Edmonds

    "Analyst Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research raised that and other questions about Facebook's claims to advertisers in a report in early September. 


    Now the Video Advertising Bureau, a trade group for cable and broadcast networks and their sites, has a follow-up study saying that the internet giant is over-counting non-existent 18- to 24-year-olds in all 50 states.

    Collectively, Wieiser and the VAB say, the company's claimed reach exceeds census estimates by a third in the 18-24 demographic and 80 percent among 25-to-34-year-olds.

    This is not Facebook's first misadventure with ad metrics. A year ago September, the company conceded that over a period of two years it had miscalculated and thus overstated the typical time that users were spending engaged with its videos.

    I chatted with a Facebook spokesman, who explicated the company's cryptic rejoinder to Wieser that its estimated reach numbers "are based on a number of factors" and do not necessarily correspond to census data, itself an estimate.

    Those young users Facebook counted could include people from other countries registering in the United States and some who misreport or don't update their age, he said. Also the reach figure would pick up tourists and other visitors.

    I'll buy that there are plenty of people in New York City (and a few other destinations) at a given time who do not live there. But I am highly dubious that addition would cover the gap the critics have identified.

    Sean Cunningham, president and CEO of the Video Advertising Bureau, told me that Facebook has promulgated a number of "trust-me metrics ...There is a pattern. All of them are about giving the appearance of being bigger ... pushing the idea that they are ubiquitous."

    The accusation is not that Facebook is overcharging. Its ads are generally placed by electronic auction, and the price is based on the numbers (views and a watch-to-completion factor) for a given ad.

    But Cunningham said that the inflated claims for desired demographic groups are meant to influence ad buyers who are considering the scale of Facebook purchases compared to their broadcast and cable budgets.

    His members would like to see Facebook using the same exacting third-party verification that is expected in the TV industry, Cunningham said. "Data innovation is a big part of what's going to be good about the future of advertising," he added, "but we need an equal view where everyone is looking at the same set of data."

    The Facebook spokesman said that the company is partnering with both Nielsen and comScore to develop new and more exact measures of digital audience reach. More is on the way, he said, as well as a more detailed explanation of the reach claims.

    I had the impression that the current controversy is focused on national advertisers and big brands. But Cunningham said his membership includes Comcast and other cable system owners who see the same dynamic at work in local market competition for ad share.

    As I and others have been reporting for some time, Facebook and Google's growing dominance in local advertising is the biggest factor in ad revenue declines at newspapers and magazines. Those placements make publications less competitive in selling ads to their digital sites and often are financed by reducing print schedules.

    The questions about Facebook's claimed reach take place against a broader background of concerns about ad fraud in digital buying and pricing. 

    Just last week, the Financial Times said an internal study had found bogus listings for ft.com ads on a number of ad exchanges. It urged clients to step up verification to insure against fraudulent placements....

    The worse case for Facebook is that hits to its credibility will slow the astronomic rates of ad revenue growth that have kept the company a darling among investors even as it has grown from big to huge."


    "Rick Edmonds is Poynter's media business analyst, co-author of 10 State of the News Media reports, former Tampa Bay Times and Philadelphia Inquirer editor."
     
    ..................



    ..................

    No comments:

    Followers

    Blog Archive

    About Me

    My photo
    I'm the daughter of an Eagle Scout (fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Mets) and a Beauty Queen.