Facebook to repay advertisers after miscalculating metrics

Social network is offering one-time credit to advertisers that were 'meaningfully affected'.

Facebook: thousands of advertisers could be affected (Getty Images)
Facebook: thousands of advertisers could be affected (Getty Images)

Facebook is compensating select advertisers after discovering a year-long error in its conversion-data reporting – an issue that is believed to have impacted thousands of advertisers globally.

A code error that affected Facebook's free Conversion Lift tool caused the platform to undercount the number of sales from people who were exposed to ads on Facebook apps from August 2019 to August 2020.

Facebook alerted advertisers and media agencies to the issue earlier this month. The issue was first reported by AdExchanger.

A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement: "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."

The social network is offering one-time credit to advertisers that were "meaningfully affected" by the issue. It will assess the impact to advertisers on a case-by-case basis depending on how they used the product.

Facebook claims that a "small number" of advertisers were impacted by the misreported metrics. However, major advertising agencies have said that several of their clients have been affected.

This is not the first time Facebook has admitted to an error in its advertising metrics. In 2016, it was discovered that the tech giant had vastly overstated video advertising metrics for two years, causing advertisers to overspend. A lawsuit filed in 2018 alleged that Facebook knew about the inflated metrics for more than a year before it alerted advertisers.

A version of this story first appeared on Campaign Asia-Pacific

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