Klick Health

Facebook Rolls out “Info and Ads”

Senior Director, Social Media

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On Thursday June 28th, the Facebook "Ads and Info" tab rolled out and pharma marketers who use this platform need to review their pages to ensure that any "dark" ads that were only available as promotions are ok to be viewed in a timeline together.

We have known for about nine months that Facebook was piloting an “Ads” tab in Canada and Ireland that allowed users to see what promotions Pages were running. This was meant to increase transparency for Facebook and was a reaction to misuse of the platform by special interests during recent democratic votes (see our Cambridge Analytica POV for more details).

The “Info and Ads” tab rolled out on Thursday, June 28, and works similarly to the one that was piloted in Canada and Ireland.

Early prototype tab / control mock ups

Just the Facts

A summary of how these tabs work isn’t too overwhelming:

Potential Issues

By showing only active ads in market, most of the regulatory issues are sidestepped. Any ads that can be viewed in users’ newsfeeds should also be permissible in the Page Ads list. There are, however, a few implications that MRL teams will want to consider.

Other Countries

Most importantly, the reader should note that a Page limited to the USA simply cannot be viewed by a user in any other country, which means that the Ads will never be viewable outside the country. Any page can restrict their visitors to specific countries, so if this becomes an issue Facebook provides an easy solution.

For pages not limited to the US, the Page visitor will be able to see ads that are provided in other countries. However, these users must take specific action of selecting the country they want to see and seek out this information.

We consider this similar to users performing Google searches specifically to find websites in other countries – those websites are not expected to gate that activity.

Multiple Campaigns

Even with the limited Canadian and Ireland tests we saw issues caused by multiple ad campaigns being shown in one stream. For instance, a Corporate page we reviewed targeted branded reminder-style ads at one province and unbranded, condition ads at another province. This put both campaigns in violation as you cannot link these two activities in Canada.

Likewise, reminder ads in the US, which by definition do not contain ISI, would be violative if placed next to condition ads on their own. However, having said that, the use of a video cover image can ensure that scrolling ISI appears on the page. This video is visible at the top of all content on the Page on desktop and on initial landing on mobile (but not on the ads list itself, which may pose an issue for some MRL teams).

The safest solution for the “multiple campaigns” issue is to simply create multiple pages with a separate one for each using the same boilerplate “About,” “Safety,” and “Story” information. These pages are free and simple to create and will allow the brand to separate different campaigns into different “Info and Ads” streams. Multiple pages can be managed with the same Facebook Ad Account so all targeting and ad control can still be handled in one place.

Lead Ads

Current information from Facebook indicates that Lead Ads will be visible on the Ads list, and that users will be able to fill out the page and see the final landing page. Facebook is not sure whether the data the user enters is actually stored in the CRM destination or not. We will update this POV as soon as we get a final answer from Facebook (look for the version number on the document).

Canvas Ads

Canvas Ads are only visible on mobile so it is difficult to know how they will be rendered on desktop. It is likely that they will render fully on mobile.

Best Practice

When looking at the Facebook Ads list for the first time it can be disconcerting for marketers who are not used to seeing their ads posts organically. However, once the details of the list are known it should become a lot less concerning. The Klick Health Social Team makes the following suggestions to marketers:

For Pages Showing All Ads Organically

You should shouldn’t see any difference on these pages or have any issues with this new tab as it is similar, if not identical, to the existing Page timeline.

For Pages Showing Some Ads Organically

You will want to ensure that these Pages’ hidden ads (not shown on the timeline) are acceptable to be shown next to organic posts. Unless the content puts condition information in proximity to Reminder style ads, it is likely acceptable.

For Pages Showing No Ads Organically

There are two potential issues here. If the ads are hidden because that was easiest for getting regulatory approval, then you should consider pausing media spend until the approvers can see what it will look like and are comfortable with the view.

If the ads cannot be shown in proximity then you should consider using the multiple Pages technique as suggested in Multiple Campaigns on page 5 as an alternative.

For Approvals Going Forward

All review packages and screenshots going forward should include the “Info and Ads” tab and should note that approved ads will appear there. Submissions should not show all those ads in-situ as they are better handled through other processes.

Download the PDF

For a handle PDF version of this same information download below.

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More About the Author

Brad Einarsen

Brad is Klick's Senior Director leading the social practice. His group ensures that clients get the best bang for their buck on the social platforms.

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