TBG Digital loses Facebook PMD badge

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By Brittany Darwell Comment

Social media advertising company TBG Digital has been suspended from Facebook’s Preferred Marketing Developer Program for violations of the rules related to talking about new product tests, CEO Simon Mansell tells us.

The London-based company still has access to the Facebook Ads API so it can continue to manage campaigns and offer its self-serve ONE Media Manager. However, TBG Digital has lost its ads “badge” and missed out on an opportunity to join the class of Strategic PMDs that participate in alpha and beta tests. Mansell says his company is in discussions with Facebook’s partner management team about how to be reaccredited.

Facebook’s Preferred Marketing Developer Program is a community of developers building tools for social marketers and advertisers. There are four areas that companies can be certified in with badges: ads, apps, insights and pages. These preferred developers receive some support from Facebook and can use the badges in their own marketing materials.

Facebook announced a new Strategic PMD Program in September. It includes 12 companies that are among the largest spending and most trusted partners, though Facebook hasn’t been explicit about what qualifications a PMD needs to join the “Strategic” group. TBG Digital is on track to spend between $120 million and $150 million on Facebook this year, but incidents where employees spoke to clients about new ad products or made comments to the press about Facebook news put the company on the chopping block.

Facebook’s PMD policies mandate, “Product discussions with Facebook regarding new or existing products are considered confidential. Developers are not to discuss non-public products or plans unless provided explicit permission from Facebook even if public documentation exists.”

Mansell said in a statement:

“We have resolved the processes that led to this and are working closely with Facebook to regain our accreditation in the coming months. The suspension of the acceditation doesn’t affect our ability to do our job as we still access the API in the same way as we have since 2009. Facebook is our most important partner, however our clients pay our bills and helping them achieve their goals will always be our first priority.”

It doesn’t seem that Facebook has a formal process for re-entry into the PMD program, and neither company provided details about what TBG would need to do in order to regain its ads badge. We’ve heard of companies losing PMD status, but it’s unclear whether any have rejoined.

TBG Digital has 150 employees in eight offices across the U.S., Europe and Australia. It has worked with brands like Dell, Heineken and Energizer, as well as agencies like Mediacom, OMD and 360i.

Facebook did not comment on TBG’s dismissal from the program.

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