Facebook to reimburse some advertisers after miscalculating effectiveness data

LONDON — Facebook is repaying some advertisers after misreporting one of the measures of their ads’ likely effectiveness over the course of a year.

The company’s “conversion lift” tool suffered a glitch that reportedly affected thousands of ads between August 2019 and August 2020.

Facebook fixed the error in September and is now offering a credit to clients “meaningfully affected” by the bug.

Conversion lift helps brands understand how ads lead to sales, using a “gold-standard methodology” that links ads on Facebook’s platforms, including Instagram, to business performance, according to an explanation of the tool on Facebook’s website.

The free tool shows ads to separate test and control groups and then compares sales conversions for each. Then, based on the results of the study, an advertiser can decide how much to spend on the social network.

But advertisers were only alerted to the error this month, according to a report

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