How Facebook is Failing Consumers

For the last decade, I’ve been specializing in data management and monetization models for publishers. Yes, I admit it, I believe in targeted advertising messages on all platforms; digital, TV, OOH and, why not, even print. But, it can only work if hyper targeting happens in the message without cutting on scale. Basically, I’d rather be fishing with a net than a single hook.

The truth about targeted advertising is that we need data; customer data. But you all know that already. Anonymized data that is. I don’t care who you are as an individual, I just want to know what you like and dislike so I can give show you the right ad. By the way, I need to show you an ad; why? Because I need to pay the content creators. No one works for free. Would you be willing to pay to have access to Facebook? 5$ per month? 2$ a month? Most will say no. So, we need advertising to pay the bills.

With great power comes great responsibility!


I’m a bit envious of the targeting capabilities of Facebook. But they are failing the customers big time. The quality of the advertising that I’m receiving is incredible. Right on point. But I don’t want to see ads that have to do with something I said or something I wrote when texting to someone. If FB wants to target ads according to the content I read, I look at, I share or comment combined with the info I voluntarily share in my profil, that’s fine with me, but beyond that, it is simply unacceptable.

How is Facebook failing me as a customer ?

  • By not respecting my privacy. By privacy I mean, anything outside of FB. I don’t care if you argue that I should have red the multiple screens of rules before accepting, if it’s not within the FB app, not your business.
  • As Spider-Man said it himself: “with great power comes great responsibility”. For Facebook, with great advertising capabilities, comes great responsibilities to protect the consumers from scams. Even with great precautions, I’ve made two purchases within the last 18 months that were poor quality even scams. And believe me I’ve made researches before making the buy. If advertiser want to be protected from ad fraud, I, as a consumer, I want to be protected from e-commerce fraud. If you sell advertising, you should have the responsibility of validating the quality of the advertiser.

Targeted advertising and privacy should be two elements that work together. Right now, the advertising industry is eliminating third party cookies to protect privacy. This is the wrong way to approach the problem. Accountability on data usage is the way to protect consumers.

  • Be transparent. If you collect data about me, tell me what you are collecting and how you are planning to use it; for real!
  • Facilitate. Make it easy for me to select the level of data I’m willing to share. I understand you need advertising to run your business and for me to enjoy your content for free, but no bullshit allow it all or nothing!
  • Be responsible. If you collect data and promise a better advertising experience, do it!
  • Be protective. Make our relationship meaningful. Don’t allow cheap scams to benefit from your incredible knowledge of what I like.

We know what’s in it for the publisher to collect data. But what’s in it for the consumer. If you cannot answer that simple question for your users, then you are not ready to collect and use their data. You are bound to fail!