Facebook touts benefits of personalized ads in new campaign


Facebook is touting personalized ads as beneficial to small businesses as part of a new ad campaign launched Thursday.

The latest ad campaign comes ahead of Apple’s scheduled launch of a new data tracking feature that would limit the reach of targeted ads — escalating the bitter battle between the Silicon Valley giants.

Facebook’s “Good Ideas Deserve To Be Found” campaign highlights small businesses that have used targeted ads to reach wider audiences. In addition to digital ads, Facebook will run TV, radio and digital ads through the spring, a spokesperson said.

The commercial will air across a range of programs and networks, including “Good Morning America,” NCAA basketball and the upcoming Golden Globes award show.

The campaign follows a similar effort launched by Facebook in December, which more directly hit at Apple over the proposed feature.

In December, Facebook took out print and digital ads in major newspapers proclaiming that Facebook was “standing up to Apple for small business everywhere” and followed up with a website featuring small business owners across the country supporting Facebook in its pushback of the feature.

Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature will require apps to get users’ permission before tracking their data across apps and websites owned by other companies. For example, if users decline, Facebook would no longer be able to target ads at users based on what they search on other sites and apps.

Apple said the feature will be rolled out in early spring.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg warned investors during a fourth quarter earnings call at the end of January that Apple’s feature could cause some challenges for Facebook.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has defended the feature. He took aim at social media platforms that profit off data collection, without directly naming Facebook, at a data privacy conference at the end of January.

“The fact is that the debate over ATT [App Tracking Transparency] is a microcosm of a debate we have been having for a long time — one where our point of view is very clear. Technology does not need vast troves of personal data, stitched together across dozens of websites and apps, in order to succeed,” Cook said.

“If a business is built on misleading users, on data exploitation, on choices that are no choices at all, then it does not deserve our praise. It deserves reform,” he added.

As Facebook continues to criticize the feature, it has launched its own prompts asking users for permission ahead of the update.

Earlier this month Facebook said it started testing the prompts. The language in Facebook’s prompts again shapes the issue around its impact on small business, asking if users want to allow the app to track their activity to “support businesses that rely on ads to reach consumers.”

Apple’s notification will simply ask users to choose “allow tracking” or “ask app not to track.”

Tags Advertising Apple Facebook Internet privacy Mark Zuckerberg Targeted advertising

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