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  Article updated: June 19, 2023

Digital Services Agreement - July 10, 2023

The EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA) aims to create a safer digital space where users' fundamental rights are protected and to establish a level playing field for businesses. The DSA is targeted at online service providers - the obligations are wide ranging and differ according to how an organization is categorized under the Act.

Many of the requirements of the DSA target social media companies like Meta. This includes an obligation to provide transparency on advertisements so that users know that what they are receiving is an advertisement, on whose behalf it is sent, and why the advertisement was selected for them. Consequently, in order to publish an ad on a social media platform, all ads will need to provide information on "the natural or legal person on whose behalf the advertisement is presented" (the beneficiary of the ad) and, where different, "the natural or legal person who paid for the ad" (the payer of the ad).

Some examples provided by Meta include:

  • If you are a business running ads on your own, your "beneficiary" could be your organization's name, and your "payer" could be the same.
  • If you are a subsidiary of a parent company, your "beneficiary" could be your subsidiary name, and the "payer" could be the parent company.

Starting July 10, 2023, if your Facebook or Instagram ads target any European Union countries or its associated territories (including in situations where EU countries/territories are indirectly targeted by selecting “worldwide” as your target), you will be required to enter the person or organization benefiting from the ad ("beneficiary"). You'll also have to document who is the person or organization paying for the ad ("payer") if that person or organization is different from the "beneficiary." A list of the EU countries and associated territories is available in the Meta article: Beneficiary and payer requirements for ads targeting the European Union.

This information will be required for all new, duplicated, or edited ads targeting the European Union or its associated territories. Your ad will not be published on any Meta platforms if you do not enter the information. If you are running an existing campaign that does not include the required information, and it is scheduled to run past July 10, 2023, your ads will stop running on the Meta platform. This requirement applies to all ad creation surfaces, including the Marketing API.

Note that the DSA’s ad transparency requirements do not apply directly to Hootsuite. However, since our services can be used to publish ads on Meta platforms, Meta requires us to implement these changes in order to allow our users to continue publishing ads on them. These changes will apply whether you publish through Hootsuite or directly on the Meta platforms.

It will be up to the advertiser to comply with applicable laws and regulations in the country they want to run ads.

Target audience locations that require beneficiary and payer information

You'll need to complete beneficiary and payer requirements if you are creating a global campaign or if your ad is targeting some or all of the European countries or territories listed in this Meta article: Beneficiary and payer requirements for ads targeting the European Union.


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