Facebook Ads Raises Spend 5X- Without Asking

Facebook doesn’t just mess around with users regarding privacy. They’ve taken the liberty to effectually raise one of our client’s daily cash expenditures nearly 5X…without asking. Amplifying the confusion of the whole thing is that Facebook did this on a weekend, when they mostly likely know average, responsible marketers are probably not eagle-eying their campaigns.

One person might say Facebook doesn’t just make us advertisers bend over, they dig their hands into our pockets.

How Can Facebook Justify This B#!! $#!^ ?
1. Facebook’s Help Center straight up says they might do it:

Why, Facebook, do you think you have a better grip on advertisers’ budgets than they do? What logic, “under normal circumstances,” gives a platform the entitlement to decide how much an advertiser will spend?

2. Well, they e-mailed the client… and here’s the arguably self-righteous note:

On Sat, May 22, 2010 at 4:21 PM, Facebook Ads Team <advertise-noreply@facebook.com> wrote:

Hi [Poor Schmuck],

Since you have successfully completed your recent Facebook Ads payments, we’ve increased the spend limit on your Facebook Ads account to $X,000.00 USD. This is the new maximum amount that you’ll be allowed to spend in one day. Your new spend limit willtake [Facebook’s poor grammar not ours] effect within 24 hours.

Please note the difference between the daily budgets you’ve set for your campaigns and the daily spend limit that we now have in place for your account. Your daily budget is the amount you have indicated you’re willing to spend for your campaigns. The daily spend limit is the maximum amount that Facebook will allow you to spend in one day. Your daily budget amount cannot exceed the daily spend limit of $X,000.00 USD. We will never charge you more than the daily budget you set for your campaigns.

Here’s how you can increase the daily budgets of your campaigns to your new spend limit in order to increase the distribution of your ads:

1. Log into your Facebook Ads account at http://www.facebook.com/ads/manage?act=TUVWXYZ.
2. Click on the current budget under the ‘Budget/day’ column of the campaigns you wish to update.
3. Enter in your new, desired budget.
4. Click “Save”.

Thanks for continuing to advertise with Facebook Ads!


The Facebook Ads Team


Thanks, Facebook, for e-mailing this notice to a busy client. On a Saturday.

Thanks for sending it from an unmonitored, no-reply e-mail address.

And, thanks, Facebook, for [NOT] providing a phone number so that we could call you and tell you just how unacceptable this is.

Potential Damages
The true danger in Facebook’s apparent sense of entitlement is the monetary damage it could have caused the client.

Facebook essentially increased the budget on a Saturday. In the very least, the campaign could have gone an entire weekend blowing through unauthorized ad spend. Were it a mature campaign, such as our client’s, it may well have gone unchecked for days, as semi-professional small business account managers often reasonably let mature campaigns hum along for a couple of days without checking back. This could’ve blown major cash.

Facebook’s apparent pompousness also shines through in their Help Center, where they assume advertisers always and only want to increase their “Daily Spend Limit.”

Let’s do the math. Say we have 20 campaigns set up with daily budgets of $50 each, which is the default.  Assume we set up the account at the default-spending limit FB imposed, which was $250.

Of course you ask, “Why would you leave each campaign set up at the default $50 daily budget in light of the $250 daily spending cap?” The answer is simple: We don’t always know which campaign will be hot, so even though 20 campaigns could theoretically spend up to $1K (at $50 each), they never will because the daily spending limit protects us. That is until Facebook raised our daily spending limit without asking us.  Now each campaign can spend out to its full $50 potential. We can only control each campaign by aggregate daily budgets.  The problem here is the surprise factor. We want to know before the move is made.

A few months ago we worked on a very large client’s Facebook PPC campaign and ran across the problem of a FB limiting daily spend of a measly $50 for new accounts. Now, we have quite the opposite problem. This time, if not for our close monitoring, Facebook would have spent much more money than our client had intended. How ironic is that?

Facebook is messing with the wrong crowd on this one. Advertisers are not the typical patrons of Facebook, who will pout, stomp their feet and go one day without logging in to Facebook when they feel wronged.  We write Facebook checks and evangelize their product to colleagues and clients.  Once FB sets the daily spend limit, there’s no way to edit it.

No, Facebook. I want to SET the daily spend limit that y’all decided to increase. Thanks.

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