Given the various controversies and ad measurement issues Facebook has seen over the past 24 months, it makes sense for the company to be investigating new options to put more control into the hands of advertisers, particularly over where their ads appear across Facebook's platforms.
On this front, Facebook has this week announced a new Brand Safety Certification for Facebook Marketing Partners, which will enable approved groups to implement block lists on behalf of their clients via Facebook's ads API.
As explained by Facebook:
"Today, we’re announcing that DoubleVerify and OpenSlate will be the first two companies to be certified in our new Brand Safety capability of the Facebook Marketing Partners (FMP) program. The capability recognizes companies offering proprietary solutions that can help Facebook advertisers review content options and control where their ads will appear."
The main impetus for this move is YouTube, which lost several big ad accounts last year due to brand messages showing up alongside controversial videos. As Facebook pushes further into video ads, it wants to avoid the same - the Brand Safety Certification essentially enables third party groups to facilitate block lists and actions on behalf of their clients, adding an extra layer of security to the ad placement process across Facebook's Audience Network and its direct, on-platform options.
"DoubleVerify provides marketing measurement software, data and analytics that authenticates the quality and effectiveness of digital media for the world's largest brands and media platforms. OpenSlate’s independent content ratings system enables marketers to visualize, optimize and automate targeting decisions on the world’s largest video platforms."
For the most part, this new program will be aimed at larger advertisers with bigger budgets - smaller businesses are able to create their own block lists to ensure their ads don't appear on specific sites.
But the more specific focus here is on video ads. As Facebook looks to generate more revenue from its video options, it also wants to assure advertisers that they won't be tarnished by association with questionable material. It's a difficult ask, given the amount of content uploaded each day, but by broadening the pool of assistance, Facebook can provide more ways for brands to manage their ad placements.