Facebook Regrets Not Going Public Sooner With Video Metrics Miscalculations

Exec says company 'needs to do better'

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One of Facebook's top marketing execs says the company owes advertisers an apology for not being more forthcoming when it initially realized that video metrics on the social network were being miscalculated.

Speaking on the first day of Advertising Week in New York, Carolyn Everson, Facebook's vp of global marketing solutions, said the social giant should have done more about making inflated numbers public after the error was found. The admission comes days after a report in The Wall Street Journal that said Facebook had been inflating advertiser video metrics by as much as 80 percent for more than two years. 

"I think a lesson learned for all of us at Facebook—and perhaps in the industry—is that what we should have done a month ago was made it public that we had found this error and that we had made a correction, and not just called our clients and agencies," Everson said.

According to Facebook, the error has been fixed. However, the revelation is likely to leave some marketers second-guessing their video ad spend at a time when Facebook is touting video more than ever before. Everson stressed that the error is yet another reason why the company is increasingly relying on third-party verification. (Just a day before the miscalculations went public, Facebook announced a number of partnerships with measurement companies.)

"As a learning organization, we take deep pride in trust and transparency," Everson told the Advertising Week audience. "I pride myself in over 25 years of relationships with clients that's built on trust, and so our promise is we will and need to do better."

@martyswant martin.swant@adweek.com Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.