Commerzbank, Mozilla, Suspend Facebook Ad Campaigns As Advertisers Start Pulling Out

Update: first it was Mozilla, now Germany's Commerzbank has also suspended a Facebook advertising campaign:

“Brand safety and data security are very important to us”, German daily Handelsblatt quotes Commerzbank brand management chief Uwe Hellmann as saying. "We want to give ongoing investigations enough space, and decide how to proceed at an appropriate time."

A week ago, Commerzbank had launched a large-scale image campaign, which will be broadcast on selected TV channels as well as online, including on Facebook. It is the continuation of the new brand positioning of the Frankfurt company, which has been ongoing since 2012.

* * *

Facebook advertisers have threatened to abandon the platform in the wake of a massive data harvesting scandal which began after it was revealed that an app created by two psychologists - one of whom Facebook employs - gathered data on over 50 million Americans and then sold it to political data firm Cambridge Analytics and several others, who used it without consent. 

Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of the social media giant gave several interviews Wednesday after spending three days in hiding, ostensibly with a crisis management team which advised him not give wholly unsatisfactory answers to one of the largest data breaches in history. 

The scandal is pushing some Facebook advertisers to consider dropping the platform, reports The Times

ISBA, a British group of advertisers that spend hundreds of millions of pounds a year on Facebook, demanded answers. It is understood that some of its 3,000 brands, which include those of the consumer goods companies Unilever and P&G, will not tolerate association with Facebook if it emerges that users’ data has found its way into the hands of brokers and political campaigners without authorisation. Sources close to the trade body said that if the company’s answers were not satisfactory, advertisers might spend their money elsewhere. ISBA will meet Facebook executives this week.

Others, such as Mozilla - the company behind the Firefox browser - have already pulled out, or as it said have "pressed pause" on Facebook advertising. In a scathing post, Mozilla said that "when Facebook takes stronger action in how it shares customer data, specifically strengthening its default privacy settings for third party apps, we’ll consider returning." Until then, "Mozilla will advertise elsewhere" as it warned in a blog post this morning:

Mozilla is pressing pause on our Facebook advertising. Facebook knows a great deal about their two billion users — perhaps more intimate information than any other company does. They know everything we click and like on their site, and know who our closest friends and relationships are. Because of its scale, Facebook has become one of the most convenient platforms to reach an audience for all companies and developers, whether a multibillion corporation or a not-for-profit.

We understand that Facebook took steps to limit developer access to friends’ data beginning in 2014. This was after Facebook started its relationship with Cambridge University Professor Aleksandr Kogan, whose decision to share data he collected from Facebook with Cambridge Analytica is currently in the news. This news caused us to take a closer look at Facebook’s current default privacy settings given that we support the platform with our advertising dollars. While we believe there is still more to learn, we found that its current default settings leave access open to a lot of data – particularly with respect to settings for third party apps.

We are encouraged that Mark Zuckerberg has promised to improve the privacy settings and make them more protective. When Facebook takes stronger action in how it shares customer data, specifically strengthening its default privacy settings for third party apps, we’ll consider returning.

We look forward to Facebook instituting some of the things that Zuckerberg promised today

Meanwhile, Facebook shares remain under rising pressure - falling approximately 8.6% in three trading sessions and down again on Thursday premarket as investors - particularly "ethical" investment funds - reconsider their decision to hold the increasingly radioactive company.

Nordea, the largest bank in the Nordic region, which manages about £283 billion (~$400 billion USD), said that it had put some of its Facebook investments in “quarantine” while it assessed the scandal. Union Investment, a German group that manages about £255 billion ($360 billion USD), said that it was reviewing its holding of Facebook shares. -The Times

Investors have also launched several lawsuits against Facebook, claiming that the company made "false and misleading statements" regarding its privacy policies and who they share data with. 

One San Francisco shareholder, Fan Yuan, filed a lawsuit on behalf of an undisclosed party of investors who claim that Facebook's "omissions" led to a "precipitous" decline in the company's stock price - wiping out nearly $50 billion of value on Monday and Tuesday. 

A Maryland woman who said that she was “frequently targeted with political ads while using Facebook” during the 2016 US election filed a separate suit against Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, alleging that the companies had treated her personal data with “absolute disregard”. Cambridge Analytica denies that it used Facebook data to “microtarget” political adverts when it worked for the Trump campaign. -The Times

Yesterday, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, who Mark Zuckerburg turned into a billionare after Facebook bought his company for $22 billion, is now telling people to delete their Facebook accounts, promoiting hashtag #deletefacebook.

Action was referencing the online movement that is gaining steam in the wake of the data harvesting scandal.

After staying on for three years, Acton quit Facebook in September, and is now a major backer of rival messaging service Signal, which boasts encryption to make its messages resistant to government surveillance.

In a Wednesday night interview with CNN, Zuckerberg admitted that Facebook "made mistakes," and that "This was a major breach of trust and I’m really sorry that this happened. Our responsibility now is to make sure this doesn’t happen again."

Zuckerberg also vowed to notify all users "whose data might have been affected" by the breach, and will be "happy" to testify before congress "if it's the right thing to do." 

Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post that he has pledged to investigate suspicious apps and ban developers who violate data sharing rules or refuse to comply with an audit. He added: “We will restrict developers’ data access even further to prevent other kinds of abuse. For example, we will remove developers’ access to your data if you haven’t used their app in three months. We will reduce the data you give an app when you sign in — to only your name, profile photo and email address."

“We’ll require developers to not only get approval but also sign a contract in order to ask anyone for access to their private data. We’ll have more changes to share in the next few days.”

That said, tens of thousands of apps could be harvesting data... 

Yesterday Dr Kogan, the Russian-linked Cambridge academic who obtained the data of 50 million users by offering “personality quizzes” before selling the data to Cambridge Analytica, told the BBC that “tens of thousands” of apps could have done the same thing.

A Facebook whistleblower told MPs that the company had ignored his warnings and lost control of users’ data by giving easy access to developers. Sandy Parakilas said that when he worked at the company in 2011-12 “personal identifiable data was basically allowed to leave Facebook”. He told MPs that he had warned executives that poor safeguards could enable foreign powers or data brokers to harvest data. -The Times

ISBA notes: “The claims that other apps using the Facebook platform, and pre-dating 2015, have collected similar bodies of personal data and that controls for distribution have been inadequate, raise questions about the possibility that Facebook data has been, or is being used improperly elsewhere. ISBA is asking Facebook for a full account.”


Adolph.H. BennyBoy Thu, 03/22/2018 - 07:40 Permalink

To the Chief Executive Jew and his army of psychologists:

Remember the war on Infowar's income. 

A tit for a tat...

The sudden dissipation of an advertising space is all the better for advertisers, because it reduces their expenditures. I wouldn't expect them to fight for that, especially in view of the demographics of users which now confines to the very clumsiest of obese black female land whales. The market hath spoken...

Next in line: Google. I expect them to be even dirtier because of the mail... let the whistleblowers out.…

In reply to by BennyBoy

ZeroSpam pier Thu, 03/22/2018 - 12:16 Permalink

▲▲▲   pier  ▲▲▲ CHRONIC SPAMMER  ▲▲▲ VIRUS ALERT ▲▲▲

▲▲▲   Slopz38  ▲▲▲ CHRONIC SPAMMER  ▲▲▲ VIRUS ALERT

▲▲▲   Leakanthropy  ▲▲▲ CHRONIC SPAMMER  ▲▲▲ VIRUS ALERT

▲▲▲   Jumanji1959  ▲▲▲ CHRONIC SPAMMER  ▲▲▲ VIRUS ALERT

When Spammer-Tard gets back to his basement at 2 a.m. smelling like urine from his job cleaning bathrooms at Jack-in-the-Box, he jacks off and engages in conversations with himself here.

This Whackjob with Multiple Log-on's (aka "stizazz" and "lloll" "beepbop"  "Braveforce"  "PRIVETHEDGE"  "SLOPZ38"  "Schlomo Scheklestein"  "Jumanji1959"-- hopefully banned) is a CHRONIC SPAMMER whose "disguised links" ("ITS END IS NEAR", above) will take you to his Spam- and Trojan-laden webpage, fondly known by ZHers as "The Whacked Out Biblicism SPAM page" where you will be the happy recipient of numerous virus from this very disturbed and obsessed individual, spamming here for more than five years.  When he gets back to his basement from his job cleaning bathrooms at Jack-in-the-Box he jacks off and engages in conversations with himself here.


•celebrity-leaks (porn)
•"I made $7000 last week ..... this is what I do"


Copy and send this text to

Please remove all postings and ban log-on from user "PIER" who chronically SPAM posts short-URL links to his virus- and trojan-filled website. This is the same individual posting chronically as  "STIZAZZ" "PRIVETHEDGE" and "LLOLL" "SLOPZ38"  "BRAVEFORCE"  "BEEPBOP"  "SCHLOMO SCHEKLESTEIN"  "JUMANJI1959", among dozens of other banned log-ons [that's YOU "NumbersUSA" and "dailywesterner" and "biblicisminstitute" and "celebrity-leaks" (porn) and "I made $7000 last week...."]. Thank you.

In reply to by pier

MoralsAreEssential kralizec Thu, 03/22/2018 - 11:09 Permalink

My question is how much pretense is there in the "fake" outrage?  F**kface got caught with his pants down.  Just like at FB, honest IT people like Parakilis know about these issues.  They're ignored because the overall purpose of these Tech Giants is to spy, control and deceive the Plebs.  I am especially wondering about Mozilla's "outrage" naivete because ZH bloggers warned about their more cozy relationship with spyware and other Tech spymasters a few months ago.

In reply to by kralizec

Endgame Napoleon Stan522 Thu, 03/22/2018 - 11:08 Permalink

Other than the privacy issues that were always there with the internet, it is ridiculous to focus on FB, acting it is the only part of the internet with intrusive elements. It is all that way. Instead of focusing on the apps, people should ask themselves why so many people have so much time for apps.

Facebook is [one] of the places to alleviate boredom for 80 million mostly underemployed and often part-time workers in America—i.e. [half] of all employed humans in the USA. When you only work part time, you have a lot more time for apps.

From David Stockman: 

.......the bottom half of wage and salary workers, or 80 million persons, earned total annual wages of less than $30,000in 2016 and averaged just $13,000 each.…

The underemployed are an 80-million-strong market for advertisers with varying amounts of earned [and unearned] income, depending on womb productivity and how much of their earned income is allocated to necessities-only due to non-welfare-eligibility or a lack of spousal income.

The underemployed include:

  • bored-with-their-kids moms, working part time to add keeping-up-with-the-Jones’ money to an ample spousal income;
  • single-earner moms and immigrant households with male breadwinners and US-born kids, staying below the very low earned-income limits for welfare programs by working part time, enjoying taxpayer-financed rent, EBT groceries, free energy, monthly cash assistance, nearly free daycare so that they can work part time and refundable child tax credits (EITCs) up to $6,431;
  • the poor advertising market of non-welfare-eligible (non-womb-productive) single citizens, non-custodial parents and single moms with kids over 18, living on the earned-only income from part-time jobs, temp jobs or a series of 1099 gigs, which have a twice-as-high SS taxation rate (15.3% on every dime made up to the $127,200 SS cap), cutting their spending money down even more, with some of them living in mom’s basement, including half of the womb-less male citizens between 18 and 34, while some of them struggle to finance rent that absorbs more than half of their earned-only income.


Then there is the retired population, not that all of them are done chasing jobs in the part-time / gig economy, but all of them have retirement income from government for advertisers to target, with the average SS check being about $1,300.

The retired FB users are a big market of 65.1 million, with guaranteed monthly retirement income from government to spend, and 39% of them have other sources of retirement income for advertisers to target.…

Many of America’s retired population of 65.1 million SS recipients gather on FB to post show-off-grandbaby pics——-no more often than the many [employed] moms in the many discriminatory workplaces “voted best for moms” who post baby-show-off pics on FB [AND OTHER APPS] when at work——-albeit they might or might not be posting them during their long periods of excused absenteeism.

Then we have assortative mates—a highly paid man married to a highly paid woman—representing about 20% of any app’s best advertising prospects, as they keep the salaried wealth in fewer households, halving the size of the US middle class and halving the size of advertisers’ good, working-aged sales prospects.…

However much salaried wealth they concentrate in one household, assortative mates can only spend so much of their income. They are almost always parents—crony parents—and like their low-income crony-mom staffs in the many childbearing-aged-mom-dominated low-wage jobs, the highly paid assortative mates take off a lot of time from work (for kids), leaving them with a lot of app-posting time.

Libertine absenteeism is possible because of computers that do more of the assortative mates’ highly paid work, just like computers do more of the work of low-income mom employees, working part time due to 1) spousal income or 2) welfare for out-of-wedlock reproduction.

Assortative mates often spend large chunks of their excused-absenteeism time in Europe and other locations outside of the USA, boosting those economies with copious amounts of extra money for babyvacations, but they also spend a lot of their extra money on their expensive homes. App advertisers in the travel and home-improvement categories have a good luxury market there.

Facebook [and many other apps] also offer advertisers access to America's 50 million working-aged, out-of-the-workforce citizens, but since they have very limited spending money, the app needs to weed them out from the better advertising prospects. 

Which include:

  • Assortative mates;
  • Retired people;
  • Moms working part time for luxury money;
  • Welfare-buttressed, single-earner moms and immigrants with US-born kids in male-breadwinner households, working part time so that they stay within the earned-income restrictions for monthly welfare, with refundable EITC child tax credits of up to $6,431 freed up for what the advertisers are selling due to their free rent and free food.…

Politicial operatives working for EITHER party—otherwise known as the Uniparty—are interested in targeting any of these groups since votes require no money, but their preferred clientele is likely voters. 

Political operatives do not care about individual voters, though. They are looking for the number of likely voters sufficient to ensure victory for their candidate and more six-figure opportunities for them. There is no way that some lady in Maryland or anywhere else received more targeted political ads than other targeted voter groups. That seems delusional. 

As annoying as many people find commercial ads, I sincerely doubt that political ad targeting works as much as these arrogant people, with their stats and charts, seem to think it does.

Many of us look at internet ads as the price for using the carefully constructed apps that we like. We do NOT like the targeted ads, but we put up with them because of knowing that the sites we like are financed that way.

Could intrusive be too intrusive, crossing over into 4th Amendment issues? Yes. But it is not at all clear that apps are doing much more than accessing information to construct lead lists, mostly for sales purposes and, otherwise, on the level of a candidate’s bumper-sticker.

I do not think it really works as much as they think. Some art people might like the more artistic ad offerings, just from the standpoint of good design, but most ads are not aesthetically pleasing.

For the most part, people hate them and just stoically accept them.

Politicians are in the business of making people believe in them enough to stand in a 2-hour line to vote. Much like we put up with ads to read a good site or to use a high-quality app, most people vote despite the unsavory political-ad barrage because of policy positions politicians claim to represent, not due to the fact that we respond to ads like Pavlov’s Dog.



In reply to by Stan522

Stan522 helloimjohnnycat Thu, 03/22/2018 - 11:17 Permalink

I too have never and will never use this social media. I prefer talking with my friends and family. I wouldn't say this proves friendship is overvalued. I merely tells you that you simply cannot invite every friend to every event to attend, or create. FakeBook simply shoves you are not invited under your nose. Before FakeBook, you would probably not even know and life goes on.......

In reply to by helloimjohnnycat

GeezerGeek Stan522 Thu, 03/22/2018 - 11:33 Permalink

Re: "Fakebook is where you go every morning to find out what your friends didn't invite you to the night before...."

I live in Deep Blue Broward, home of the illustrious Sheriff Scott "not my fault" Israel. As a result of being conservative, I don't have many friends here, nor do I have Facebook. ["Are you now, or have you ever been, associated with Facebook..."]

I and those friends I do have typically fall asleep before most of the younger crowd considers it time to go out partying. Such is life.


In reply to by Stan522

MoralsAreEssential JLee2027 Thu, 03/22/2018 - 11:36 Permalink

You may be completely accurate.  I have read that Assange is an NSA asset.  However, each of these people have been VITAL to disseminating info to the DUPED POPULATIONS of the world.  If it is to "defeat" each other's agencies, who cares?  After spending 3 years "learning" Truths I would never have believed which began with my grumbling for 10 years about "What the hell is wrong with my country?" and a boisterous comment from a relative now retired from NSA which set off a Red Alarm about everything I had ever believed about the USA, I have discovered a complexity of "Dimensions" for both Truthsayers and Liars that boggles anyone's mind.  The conspiracies and complexities of every "story" disseminated about anything a normal Human would be concerned about is so great, it is amazing the Human Race has as many Awake as we do.

In reply to by JLee2027

MoralsAreEssential XBroker1 Thu, 03/22/2018 - 11:24 Permalink

I can't stand circus-type delivery of info so I have only watched Alex maybe 2xs because someone gave a link to something I wanted to view as perspective.  However, Alex is disseminating lots of valid info with his BS to an audience who would never frequent the sites I prefer.  Many of these people are solid conservatives supporting 2nd Amendment and also are a large part of the underemployed Blue Collar workforce.  They are a larger backbone of the Trump deplorables. 

In reply to by XBroker1

RedBaron616 Adolph.H. Thu, 03/22/2018 - 09:21 Permalink

Alex Jones is an idiot. Sure, he covers some legitimate things and then he runs off the rails with some wacko conspiracy theories. He also sells snake oil as some kind of miracle products. I notice that most of his productions are video/audio. What that means is he is followed by those who don't want to read a well thought out argument so that we can see what's covered and what's not. In other words, analyze. Rush and Alex are for people who wish to be spoon fed. Don't ask them to think for themselves. They don't know how.

In reply to by Adolph.H.