Facebook has just begun testing “advertiser topic exclusion controls” with a small group of advertisers. If this sounds like a bunch of unrelated words smashed together to you, you’re not alone. Here’s what this actually means:
Some advertisers have experienced problems with their ads appearing in the News Feed next to topics that aren’t very on-brand. For example, an ad for toys might, through random algorithmic chance, wind up being displayed next to a news story about a horrible murder.
To combat this sort of unfortunate accidental placement, Facebook is now experimenting with allowing advertisers to explicitly opt out of placement near specific topics — for instance, “Crime and Tragedy.”
Product development and testing is likely to take much of the year, but this could offer some interesting new control for brands if and when it rolls out on a larger scale.