New Facebook ad transparency sample: Movember Canada ad review

The new Facebook ad transparency is live only in Canada for the next few months!  It will be rolled out to the United States this Summer, but the timing is unknown for other countries.  This may be unnerving for some advertisers because all of their ads running on the Facebook advertising platform are on display to anybody in Canada, regardless of whether or not they are part of the intended audience for that ad.  In reality, this is not much different than the ads that we see in magazines, on television or on the radio.  The bigger issue here is that all of an advertisers ads on Facebook will be on public display, including their test ads.  Those are the ones that we all would like to keep under wraps until we are certain that they are effective.

Since there are probably some people in other countries who would like to see how the new Facebook ad transparency works, I decided to share an example with you.  I chose to look at the currently running Facebook ads of Movember Foundation Canada in honour of men’s health month.

As a reminder, Facebook is requiring advertisers to connect their ad with a Facebook page.  Therefore, find the Facebook page that is of interest to you.  Once you are there, to find the ads that are running on that page, look at the left column of the page, also known as the left sidebar.  Somewhere in the left sidebar, you will see “Ads”.  The word “Ads” usually appears at the end of the list but it can appear somewhere at the top or in the middle depending on how the page is set up. Click on the word “Ads”.

pointing to ads

Movember Foundation Canada Facebook page screenshot. New Facebook ads transparency. November 15 2017.

 

Tada !!  This takes you to the pages’ current ads.  If there are no ads currently running, you will see the following message:

“No Ads Available to View. There are no ads currently running to view.”

Sample of no ads

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Facebook page screenshot.  New Facebook ads transparency.  November 15 2017.

If there are ads, you will have to scroll down to see them all.  At the top of this page, there is a a message from Facebook explaining what you are able to see and what you will not be able to see:

“These are ads that <Page Name> is currently showing to people through Facebook’s advertising platform. We’re making these ads available to you even if you’re not part of the intended audience, in order to give you more information about how this Page is using Facebook ads. We’re unable to show certain kinds of ads, such as some dynamic and offer ads, at this time.

You’ll see the Facebook News Feed versions of any ads. Advertisers may run ads across different products, sites and apps (such as Instagram or Messenger), so they may look different here than how they appear there.
Offers, special pricing and other details may not apply to you.”
Movember Canada - 2017 11 - 1

Movember Foundation Canada Facebook page screenshot. New Facebook ads transparency. November 15 2017.

Information about audience targeting and ad duration is not made visible to the public.
You can engage with the ad, but in a limited fashion.  By clicking on the “…” symbol at the top right corner of the ad, this allows you to report the ad if you find it offensive or inappropriate.  You can click on a link within the post or on the post’s call-to-action button and you will be brought to that page. However, you cannot like, comment or share the ad.  I did find a loophole for some of the ads.  Although I was not able to like, comment or share on the ads on the Facebook ads transparency for that page, I was able to click on the videos and get to the original post, at which point I was able to like, comment or share.  Could it be that these were posts that were boosted, therefore I was allowed to interact with them because I was brought to the original post?  Maybe, but I’m not sure.
engagement with reviewed ad

Movember Foundation Canada Facebook page screenshot. New Facebook ads transparency. November 15 2017.

link to video

Movember Foundation Canada Facebook page screenshot. New Facebook ads transparency. November 15 2017.

I was not able to do click and engage with any of the ads with still images though.  When I clicked on the ads with still images, I was either brought to the link that the advertiser wanted to promote with the ad, or I was brought to a screen that told me that the link had either expired or the page was only visible to an audience that I am not part of.  Interesting!  Is this perhaps a way for Facebook to protect the integrity of the ad by not allowing people who are not part of the intended audience to engage with the ad, even though they can see it?  Maybe, but when I reviewed the Movember Canada Facebook ads, many of those I had seen on my timeline on a few occasions, therefore I should be considered as part of their intended audience, yet I was not able to engage with any of them on the page that listed all of their ads.
some ads won't let me get details

Movember Foundation Canada Facebook page screenshot. New Facebook ads transparency. November 15 2017.

Here are a few samples of the Movember Canada Facebook currently running Facebook ads.  I found a total of 28 ads.  They consisted of some video ads and some photo ads, and although there were a few unique ones among them, the majority of them were a mix-and-match of images, messages and call-to-action.  Considering some of them were very similar to one another, it is possible that some of these were test ads, but they could have been developed as such simply to maintain brand consistency and recall.  This blog post was meant as an introduction and overview of the new Facebook ad transparency, but in a separate post that I will publish in a few days, I will include all of the Movember Canada Facebook ads so that we can talk about them.
Hello! My name is Nat and I am the founder of Marketing 4 Health Inc.  I write blog posts and manage the Social Media strategy and manage online communities for my clients in healthcare, education and non-profit industries.
If you would like a Facebook ad review for your market, please contact me at nat@marketing4health.net so that we can discuss your business needs.

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