Acxiom CEO: ‘Signs’ That Facebook May Reverse Data Import Policy

Facebook might be reconsidering the policy it initiated last Wednesday about third-party data providers, Acxiom CEO Scott Howe said Tuesday in a letter to advertisers. Read it.

“We’ve seen some signs that Facebook is reconsidering the initial policy they issued last week on data imports in light of advertiser concerns that will have an economic impact,” Howe wrote in a message titled “A Call to Advertisers – Make Your Voice Heard.” “There are many talented and smart people at Facebook. And if they take action on this feedback, it would be a smart move for them and good news for the industry.”

Acxiom’s stock price has collapsed since Facebook said it would end the Partner Categories program, which lets advertisers buy third-party data from Acxiom and its peers to improve ad targeting. Acxiom’s stock price has plummeted 23% since March 28, destroying some $500 million in equity.

But the company was already under pressure from investors before Facebook’s policy change. Just one month prior, Acxiom had missed its revenue projections and announced a strategic review – with one potential outcome being the sale of its data-selling unit, Audience Solutions.

Following Facebook’s maneuver, Acxiom issued a press release reducing projected 2019 revenue by as much as $25 million. Howe also wrote a blog post last Thursday stating his dissatisfaction with Facebook’s decision.

He followed that message up with a blog post Wednesday to rally marketers affected by the ending of Partner Categories.

“Now more than ever, advertisers need to exert their voice,” Howe wrote. “Money is powerful, and advertisers should remember that they are the real decision-makers.”

Facebook did not immediately comment.

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