Adspend on Facebook kept growing throughout Cambridge Analytica scandal

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg testified before the US senate this week
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg testified before the US senate this week

While Facebook's share price may be taking a beating, advertisers are spending 62% more year-on-year on the platform in the first quarter of the year.

Specifically, during the weeks the scandal first broke spending continued to grow week on week, increasing 7% for the week of 17 March and 15% for the week of 24 March, martech company 4C has found.

This is matched both weeks by 9% increases in Instagram spending.

These results were based on an analysis of $250m (£176m) media spend from more than 1,000 brands managed through the 4C platform. 

Few brands declared they would pull Facebook spend following the Cambridge Analytica revelations in which it acquired user data from a third-party app.

"We’re seeing continued strength for Facebook advertising despite the negative headlines," Aaron Goldman, chief marketing officer at 4C Insights, said. "For some time now, marketers in the UK have been actively preparing for GDPR so they are comfortable dealing with issues pertaining to data collection. In this case, the main issue is not related to advertising and the repercussions such as removal of Facebook Partner Categories have not had a material impact."

In fact, all social media platforms seem to be benefiting from increased adspend. In the first quarter of 2018, the CPG sector spent quarterly spend by 78% on Twitter and 31% on Snapchat to reach their desired audience segments.

Even Snapchat, which has been reeling from negative feedback from its new layout, is not seeing knock-on effect in terms of advertising. Brands have increased their budgets with Snapchat by as much as 234% in the first quarter and it's "cost per swipe up" has grown 13% across the quarter. 

"This shows the increased value of the platform’s advertising inventory for brands," the report said.

"Gen-Zers are expected to account for about 40% of all consumers by 2020." Carlee Benson, Media strategy manager at Mbuy, commented in the 4C report, "Trends like ephemeral marketing, influencer, and short-form video are favourites amongst this generation and need to be considered with a social media strategy." 

Start Your Free 30-Day Free Trial

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to, plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events.

Become a subscriber


Don’t miss your daily fix of breaking news, latest work, advice and commentary.

register free