18th March 2022

POV: Meta Content Controls


Meta is to begin the testing of new content tools designed to give advertisers control over where their ads are shown on Facebook and Instagram feeds. It has also struck a deal with Zefr, a brand suitability measurement company, to monitor and report the context in which ads appear on Facebook.

Details & Implications

Meta has been working with GARM (The Global Alliance for Responsible Media) to develop these new content controls, which will be aligned with the GARM Suitability Framework. The tools are designed to allow companies to prevent their ads from being placed next to unsuitable content, such as posts about politics, tragedy or violence.

Testing will begin in the second half of 2022, with plans to roll them out in early 2023. Meta will be focussing on English speaking markets first, with other languages to follow. The initial focus will be on the news feed, before expanding to include ads placed within stories, video feeds, Instagram’s explore page and more.

To support the push for more brand safety controls over ad placement and content adjacency, Meta has also selected Zefr as the initial partner for providing independent reporting on the context in which ads appear on the Facebook Feed.

Meta will now work with Zefr to develop a solution to measure and verify the suitability of adjacent content to ads in Feed, with the goal of starting with small scale testing in the third quarter of this year and moving to limited availability in the fourth quarter.

The solution will complement existing third-party brand safety measurement offerings and Meta will work toward having the brand suitability integration opportunity open to all badged partners following the initial test period.

All the new controls are in addition to the existing Community Standards, which determine what is, and what is not allowed, on the platform. The new tools are therefore designed to give advertisers an extra level of control in certain content contexts.


GroupM is a founding member of GARM and the push for more controls that align to the GARM Suitability Framework in order to address Metas’s well publicised problems with the content on its platform in adjacency to advertising, are welcome news for advertisers. How these controls develop over time and crucially their efficacy, will be closely watched.

Further Reading

Meta for Business Blog | TechCrunch | AdAge

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