Facebook Gives Brand Control

Brand control. The content surrounding your advertising can completely set the tone for a viewer. Facebook understands, and is allowing brands to blacklist publishers.

No matter which way you turn, the world we live in is changing. Mobile devices have changed the way people communicate. The Internet has changed the way people make purchases. But some of the biggest changes are stemming from our modern political climate. Content posted online, specifically to Facebook, has a tendency to be politically motivated, in one way or another. In light of that, many brands are weary to blindly buy ad space without having  more control, for fear that their message might appear next to some objectionable articles.


Eureka! There’s hope!

Facebook recognized this need for transparency and for more brand control. They are now allowing advertisers to opt out of having their content appear near specific publishers.


The Logistics

Prior to this unveiling, there were options for avoiding particular categories and manually selecting publishers to blacklist. But this was majorly lacking in transparency. Facebook did not disclose all of the publishers eligible for ads, so brands did not necessarily know which ones to ask to avoid.

Now, however, possible options for brand placement will be clearly laid out and content from less desirable publishers may be unchecked. This ability to blacklist publishers will erase any uncertainty as to whether or not ads are appearing next to questionable material.


“Pre-Campaign Transparency”

All this effort is in the name of “pre-campaign transparency”. More information is available before ads are placed in the Instant Articles, the Facebook Audience Network, and the mid-roll video ads.


Before Blacklist

Facebook previously relied on a policy that allowed content publishers to split the ad revenue with them. This ensured high quality content got pushed to the top.

The problem with this is that more often publishers can make more money from ads on their personal sites, rather than ads placed on Facebook. From the advertising perspective, brands were never really sure where their ads would pop up. They were weary of the fallout if they advertised around questionable content.


The New Solution

This new blacklist procedure is a way for Facebook to remedy this problem and give more brand control. Hopefully advertisers will feel more comfortable including Instant Articles in their campaigns. Especially now that they have a say in where their advertising does not run.

Something to remember – brands cannot dictate where ads run, only where they don’t run.


At the end of the day, advertisers still want reach and scale. A too-targeted program might not deliver that. Broad targeting, however, is a great step forward. If your brand is leery of running a campaign next to questionable content, Facebook might be a solid choice for your next marketing move.


Shannon Curtis, the author, is the Project / Social Media Coordinator at Marketing Keys, a boutique media management firm in the heart of downtown Chicago.