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Meta has achieved a significant new milestone on brand safety, with the Media Rating Council (MRC) assigning accreditation to Meta’s policies and approaches to ad placement across its ad products.

As explained by Meta:

“In August 2020, we committed to undertaking and releasing independent, third-party assessments of our brand safety and suitability solutions. This accreditation from the MRC comes after an extensive audit conducted by independent CPA auditors engaged by MRC that reviewed the brand safety policies, controls and processes we have in place to ensure a safe and suitable advertising environment on our platforms.

The MRC brand safety accreditation process involves analysis of an ad platform’s capacity to ensure that its ads are being delivered to their intended audience, in a safe manner (i.e. not being displayed alongside potentially offensive content).

The five key elements of this assessment are:

  • Site Context
  • Geo-Targeting
  • Ad Placement
  • Competitive Separation
  • Fraud Detection.

As Meta notes, to achieve accreditation, a platform needs to undergo an extensive MRC audit, which examines these elements, and more, and assesses whether they meet industry standard requirements.

Which, evidently, Meta’s ad system now does, with the assessment covering Meta’s Partner Monetization PoliciesContent Monetization Policies and associated content-level brand safety and suitability controls applied to Facebook In-Stream Video and Instant Articles in desktop, mobile web and mobile in-app. 

“Meta is a leader when it comes to safety and integrity in the tech space, and our goal is to continue to raise the bar for the industry by creating safe environments. We will continue our commitment to transparency so people can hold us accountable and businesses can feel confident about partnering with us.”

I mean, Meta’s ad system does have other issues in ad delivery at present, with Apple’s ATT data privacy prompts reducing its capacity to deliver ads to specific audiences. But in terms of placement and reporting, the MRC accreditation will provide additional assurance for ad partners that their ads are indeed reaching the audience that Facebook’s Business Manager platform says, while Meta also continues to add more controls for placement and brand security.   

Worth noting, too, that the assessment specifically looked at Meta’s machine learning elements, which are becoming a bigger part of its ad targeting process, due to the aforementioned impacts of Apple’s iOS update.

It’s a positive update in what’s been a not-so-positive year for Meta’s ad business, but with this accreditation, and its ever-evolving ad automation tools, Meta’s ad business will look to get back on track in 2023.