Facebook Tries to Calm Advertisers After Cambridge Analytica Crisis

A handful of marketers suspended advertising on Facebook Inc. as the company hustled to quell anxiety about its platform in the wake of revelations that an outside company improperly handled data on tens of millions of its users.

In recent days, Facebook executives have been reaching out to advertising trade bodies, marketers and major ad agencies such asWPP WPP -0.61% PLC, Dentsu Inc. 4324 -5.78% and Omnicom GroupInc. OMC -0.86% to tell them it is working to audit all apps on its platform and reassure its users that their personal data is being protected, according to people in the ad industry and at Facebook.

Facebook also affirmed to ad agencies such as GroupM that their clients’ customer data wasn’t compromised, according to a person familiar with the matter. Marketers upload data to the Facebook platform to help direct ads to various audience segments.

Still, several marketers—including Commerzbank, Germany’s second-largest bank; Mozilla, owner of the web browser Firefox; Sonos, maker of wireless speakers; and Pep Boys’ auto-parts stores—have said they are pulling their Facebook advertising, some only temporarily, as the social network investigates and shores up data-privacy controls.

Facebook said Friday, “Advertisers look to us to help grow their businesses. They know how important it is for people to trust their information with Facebook, and we are committed to regaining that trust. Most of the businesses we’ve spoken with this week are pleased with the steps we’ve outlined to better protect people’s data, and they have confidence that we’ll respond to these challenges and become a better partner and company as a result.”

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