Facebook ad tool bug leaves thousands of advertisers in shock

Facebook is offering millions of dollars in credits to compensate some affected advertisers after it quietly reported about a code error in its ad metric tool that went unfixed for as long as 12 months.

The code error with Facebook’s free “conversion lift” tool has affected several thousand advertisers who were left in shock after it was reported to them.

The compensation being offered by Facebook is for “miscalculating the number of sales derived from ad impressions”.

According to a report in AdAge on Thursday quoting industry sources, the level of compensation Facebook is offering varies depending on the advertiser’s spend.

In some cases, “advertisers are being given coupons worth tens of millions of dollars”.

The ad tool that tells advertisers how effective their ads may be in driving results, “such as getting consumers to download an app or purchase a product”.

Facebook’s “conversion lift” tool overestimated some campaign results for 12 months, the company quietly told its advertisers this month.

“The glitch skewed data that advertisers use to decide how much money to spend with the company,” reports the Wall Street Journal.

One digital agency was quoted as saying that it was looking into how the error has affected some clients’ investments before accepting credits.

Last week, Facebook told AdExchanger that the bug was fixed on September 1, adding that it was “working with impacted advertisers”.

“While making improvements to our measurement products, we found a technical issue that impacted some conversion lift tests. We’ve fixed this and are working with advertisers that have impacted studies,” Facebook said in a statement.

The issue is serious for certain categories such as retail, where marketers are spending as much as 5 per cent to 10 per cent more on Facebook and other performance-centric advertising channels.

“Some ad buyers said the latest gaffe has hurt confidence in the company’s metrics at a time when many businesses are navigating the pandemic by trying to cut costs and make sure their ad spending performs,” the WSJ report noted.

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