Facebook faces the prospect of losing a large block of advertisers in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
“ISBA, a group representing about 3,000 advertisers including major brands like Unilever and Procter & Gamble, is demanding answers from Facebook in the wake of the Cambridge,” Fox News reported.
The companies ISBA represents in the United Kingdom are threatening to abandon Facebook unless their concerns are addressed.
“We want to understand the scope of the inquiry Mark Zuckerberg announced yesterday. We want reassurances for our members that it will get to the bottom of the issues and any implications for the public and for advertisers,” Phil Smith, ISBA’s director general, told Fox News in a statement.
The trade group is slated to meet with representatives from the social media platform on Friday.
“I think that clients have come to a point, quite rightly, where enough is enough,” said David Kershaw, the head of the major advertising agency M&C Saatchi.
Facebook founder CEO Mark Zuckerberg broke his silence regarding the Cambridge Analytica controversy in both a lengthy statement posted to Facebook on Wednesday and in an interview with CNN.
“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” Zuckerberg wrote in the post.
“The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago,” he continued. “But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it.”
Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan harvested users’ data through a personality quiz app beginning in 2013, Zuckerberg recounted.
Kogan then allegedly shared the data regarding users’ friends and affinities with Cambridge Analytica, which turned around and used that information to help its consulting clients, including Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
As reported by The Western Journal, former President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign also used an app to gather data on those who downloaded it and their Facebook friends to target likely voters.
Zuckerberg told CNN he was not prepared to say Facebook played a definitive role in the outcome of the 2016 race, given “there were so many different forces at play.”
“It’s hard for me to assess how all (the activity on Facebook) stacked up compared to all the campaign events and advertising that was done off of Facebook, and all the other efforts,” Zuckerberg said.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: "I'm not sure we shouldn't be regulated. … I actually think the question is more, 'What is the right regulation?' rather than, 'Yes or no, should it be regulated?'" pic.twitter.com/aKR3p9ogIh
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) March 22, 2018
The CEO told CNN he is open to testifying before Congress and believes federal regulation is probably needed with regard to political advertising on his platform.
“I’m happy to if it’s the right thing to do,” Zuckerberg said regarding a congressional appearance. “Our objective is to provide Congress, which is an extremely important job, to have the most information they can.”
Asked about regulation, he responded, “I actually am not sure we shouldn’t be regulated. I think in general, technology is an increasingly important trend in the world and I actually think the question is more, what is the right regulation, rather than ‘yes or no, should it be regulated?'”
Zuckerberg added, “If you look at how much regulation there is around advertising on TV and print, it’s just not clear why there should be less on the internet. We should have the same level of transparency required.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.