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Ad Agency CEO Calls On Marketers To Take Collective Stand Against Facebook (#GotBitcoin?)

Facebook Has Faced Criticism Recently Over Issues Like Its Handling Of User Data And The Spread Of Misinformation On Its Platform.

Mat Baxter, CEO of IPG media agency Initiative, said he would advise clients not to spend their ad dollars on Facebook. Ad Agency CEO Calls On Marketers To Take Collective Stand Against Facebook

The global chief executive of a prominent ad-buying agency said he would advise his marketer clients not to advertise on Facebook to protest what he described as the social-networking company’s “egregious behavior.”

Mat Baxter, CEO of Initiative, an Interpublic Group of Co s. agency, wrote on his LinkedIn page Wednesday that it was time to “take a collective stand” against Facebook.

“Hopefully, when they feel the pain of lost advertising dollars things might just change,” the post concluded. Initiative’s clients include Unilever , Carlsberg, Lego and Merck, according to the agency’s website.

A spokesman for IPG Mediabrands said Mr. Baxter’s comments were his own and not an official position from the network or company.

“We look to all media platforms to be transparent about their usage of consumer data and will continue to work closely with our media partners, including Facebook, to ensure we have the best information when advising our clients on a case-by-case basis as to how best to invest their media budgets,” IPG CEO Michael Roth said in a statement.

Facebook’s Carolyn Everson, vice president of global marketing solutions, in a statement said that educating users about their privacy options is a big focus for the company headed into 2019.

“Every day we work hand in hand with our advertising partners to help them grow their businesses and better serve their customers,” Ms. Everson said. “We have a strong partnership with IPG agencies around the world and look forward to that continuing for years to come.”

Pressure from users and lawmakers has mounted on Facebook in recent months over issues from its handling of user data to the spread of misinformation on its platform. In one of the latest developments, the District of Columbia attorney general filed suit against Facebook on Wednesday, alleging the company failed to protect the privacy of its users in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Marketers’ appetite for Facebook and its portfolio of apps, which also include Instagram and WhatsApp, hasn’t shown signs of waning. Facebook’s advertising revenue grew 33% to $13.4 billion in the three months ended Sept. 30. Market-research firm eMarketer predicts Facebook will control 20.8% of digital ad spending in the U.S. next year, behind only Google’s 36.2% share.

Marketers tend to make their advertising decisions based on which platforms are the most effective destinations for their ad budgets. Facebook’s “combination of a huge audience and incredibly detailed targeting is like catnip for advertisers, and now Facebook has become an integral part of many advertisers’ media plans and it’s very hard to simply turn off the spigot,” said Deborah Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer.

Also included in Mr. Baxter’s post was a link to a news article about Facebook acknowledging it allowed companies including Netflix and Spotify access to users’ messages.

In an earlier Wednesday blog post, Facebook sought to clarify that those companies had such data access because they had integrated Facebook messaging features within their services and that the capabilities were only available to users who had granted permission by logging in using their Facebook accounts. “No third party was reading your private messages, or writing messages to your friends without your permission,” Facebook’s vice president of product partnerships, Ime Archibong, wrote in the blog post.

Related Article:

Advertisers Allege Facebook Failed to Disclose Key Metric Error For More Than A Year (#GotBitcoin?)

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