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Facebook Just Shut Down A Ton Of Ad Accounts (& Most People Don't Know)

By Kevin Simonson, CEO of Metric Digital

I'm convinced that there are 2 completely different worlds in Facebook marketing, and 99.9% of the people in each world don't know the other one exists.

Metric Digital sits in the middle of both sides, working both with startups we've grown from $0 in spend to 9 figure exits, and Fortune 500 companies. Our position provides us a unique perspective.

World #1

There is a huge network of sketchy/scrappy/hustler "gurus" and agencies (usually with no brands we work with page) that are mostly scam artists selling bad classes or agency services. Occasionally in this world, you'll find a person who knows what they're doing and just wants to nerd out on how to be good at performance marketing on Facebook. 

These rare, good Facebook marketers are often in house at brands and tend to be my favorite people to talk to about what we do.

World #2

This includes IPG, Omnicom, and WPP agencies and the Agencies of Record (AOR's) that are full service. These companies have people who buy Facebook ads for their mostly giant enterprise clients, but when they do this, they have little to no idea what they're doing. Worse yet, they don't have to be held accountable, so their work is objectively bad. What I would consider fraudulently bad.

After personally auditing the Facebook ad accounts of thousands of accounts, including many for the Fortune 500, I can tell you that the bigger the company is, the worse their Facebook ad buying is, and the higher the fee they are likely being charged.

So which world just got Thanos'd last night?

Facebook banned a ton of ad accounts from World 1 last night, which is great for the platform and legitimate advertisers.

I don't know how many got banned and I've never seen/heard Facebook release data on this, but judging by the World 1 communities right now, it was a major culling.

So why now?

Facebook has always shut down or flat out banned ad accounts for breaking their Terms of Service (TOS). That said, it's usually auto triggered based on ad disapprovals (sexual, before/after pics, etc)

This wave of shut downs is different.

They do massive shut downs like this periodically, including the last one in August, but nobody I've spoken with at Facebook has told me why it's happening now.

One theory is that they've ramped up these massive shut downs because the election is coming up. But having worked with publishers, patriotic brands, and talking to folks who work on political ads, I don't think this is true.

The next theory is that Facebook really is putting more of an effort into kicking bad actors off their platform, and I think this is true.

For instance, a lot of advertisers from World 1 create/buy fake Facebook accounts for each "Persona" they target for products they're selling for a brand or drop shipping. They do this so that they can leave fake comments on their ads like "I just got mine and I love it so much!!! Thank you!" and manufacture reviews that look real.

It's very possible that Facebook is getting better at recognizing people running sketchy ad accounts, and they're getting faster at shutting them down.

Final thoughts on all this:

  1. Good for Facebook. Kick bad actors out of the auction and make the platform a better place for companies like us and the brands we work with.
  2. It really does blow my mind that you have such a chasm of good and bad Facebook marketers working with Digitally Native Vertical Brands and huge brands. I'm glad we're chipping away at the old guard of agencies that do a horrible job, and are only buying Facebook media for large brands because of sales relationships and ignorance from decision makers.

Overall, decision makers are getting smarter and working with agencies based on merit, so I'm looking forward to our future in between these two worlds.

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Kevin Simonson CEO & Co-Founder, Metric Digital The Metric Digital Blog A Blog on All Things Digital Marketing