Of the top 1,000 ad spenders on Facebook, only seven ceased buying ads following reports that Cambridge Analytica misused user data as it tried to influnce the 2016 presidential elections and the Brexit vote, according to an analysis performed by digital intelligence platform Pathmatics.
Two of the companies, AthenaHealth and Mojoness, said the halt in ad spend was unrelated to the Cambridge Analytica story reported in The New York Times earlier this month. The other five, UsedCars.com, Charity Water, SimpliSafe and Teecai did not respond to requests for comment.
"This is a Facebook problem, not a brand problem," says Josh von Scheiner, founder and creative director at social media agency VonShine Industries. "There's nothing right now that connects this controversy to how brands use Facebook."
Pathmatics says it gets its information on Facebook advertising from a panel of mobile users in the U.S. who have given it permission to collect data on the ads in their News Feeds there. The company says its panels are anonymous and that it collects no personally identifiable information. The data was gathered from Jan. 1 to March 28.
Pathmatics CEO Gabe Gottlieb says most advertisers are not making changes to their campaigns on Facebook as a direct response to the Cambridge Analytica story.