Commexis Cast Daily – Mar. 28, 2018: How The Facebook + Cambridge Analytica Controversy Affects Ad Buyers and Marketers

Today’s Commexis Cast discusses the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal which involved the capturing the data of millions of Facebook users without their consent, and what that means for marketers and ad buyers on the platform.

The Facebook and Cambridge Analytica controversy began when it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica acquired data collected via the “yourdigitallife” app, a survey that prompted users to allow the app access to their personal information. The app didn’t just collect information on that user, but also on every person on that user’s friends list. The data was then used by political campaigns to form psychological profiles on Facebook users in an attempt to influence them. There’s a high likelihood more data has been taken by other applications in a similar fashion. Facebook has since come under fire, and Mark Zuckerberg will be testifying before Congress about the stolen data. You can read a more in-depth timeline of all of the events on The Guardian.

The main focal point of today’s episode is not to summarize these events, but to calm the worries of some clients who are wondering how this affects them. Here are a couple key points to keep in mind:

  • Facebook’s ad platform does not allow this kind of information to be gathered on users. 
    • Facebook has many guidelines, restrictions, and policies on advertisements.
      • This includes what kind of information can be asked of a user in a Lead Generation campaign.
    • Applications, such as the “yourdigitallife” quiz, are run through Facebook’s API which doesn’t have the same kind of restrictions. Therefore, each app has it’s own set of permissions that user’s agree or decline. These permissions determine how much information an application can or cannot gather on the user.
  • Lead generation campaigns on Facebook, which ask for user information to help a service or brand get in touch with that user, are not the same thing as the applications used in the scandal. 
    • There may be some slowdown in Lead Generation campaigns as users shy away from entering personal information while on the social network.
  • This may be an excellent opportunity for other social media platforms to strike. 
    • Snapchat, for example, is expanding it’s location data services.
  • Facebook isn’t going anywhere. 
    • Facebook, like Google before it, has had many issues similar to this one, but we expect Facebook to comeback following the Congressional hearings.
  • There is no reason to stop spend on Facebook. 
    • Facebook is still the number one social network.

If you have any questions, feel free to send us an e-mail at

Today’s cast: Phillip Brooks (Commexis Lead Strategist) and Matthew McGrorty (Commexis Videographer/Podcaster).

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