Having ads placed next to posts related to politics, tragedy, and violence has always been a concern for brands and businesses. With this, Meta announced on March 17 that it is about to begin its test on new content tools that will allow advertisers to control where their ads are shown on Facebook and Instagram feeds. 

In a post made by Meta, the company says that the test of the new controls for Facebook and Instagram Feeds will focus primarily on English-speaking markets. It will start in the second half of the year before rolling out more broadly in early 2023. Nonetheless, the company ensures that in the next coming months of 2023, this new feature will expand to additional languages. Meta also mentioned that it includes the plan to broaden the placement coverage, covering Stories, Reels, Video Feeds, Instagram Explore, and other surfaces across Facebook and Instagram.

“With this announcement, Meta is demonstrating its commitment to core goals of both OMG’s CASA (Council for Accountable Social Advertising) initiative, and GARM – giving advertisers control over – and insights into – where their ads appear,” said Ben Hovaness, SVP Marketplace Intelligence, Omnicom Media Group. “It’s a significant step forward in assuring a transparent and brand-safe environment for advertisers to connect with their customers.”

To help its plan strive more, Meta partnered with Zefr to assure that business ads are only placed next to appropriate content.

“After an extensive vetting process, we’ve selected Zefr as the initial partner for providing independent reporting on the context in which ads appear on Facebook Feed,” Meta stated. “We will work together to develop a solution to measure and verify the suitability of adjacent content to ads in Feed, with the goal of starting with small-scale testing in the third quarter of this year and moving to limited availability in the fourth quarter.”

Meanwhile, Rob Rakowitz, GARM Initiative Lead, World Federation of Advertisers, expressed why this partnership is needed and what it can offer to all parties concerned.

“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,” said Rakowitz. “Meta 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.”

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