Breaking: Meta's Legal Drama and What It Means for Us

Breaking: Meta's Legal Drama and What It Means for Us

So there may be some changes coming with age and gender targeting for our advertising based on what we're seeing in the US. It's been interesting to see how legislation is evolving to keep up with digital marketing (eventually).

But when it does, the shifts are often deep & wide ranging. So based on that, I thought this was worth diving into.

Legal Developments That Could Shake Up Ad Targeting

What's going on: In the US,  a class-action lawsuit against Meta Platforms, Inc. (formerly Facebook) is making headlines. The case alleges that Meta's ad algorithms discriminate based on age and gender. The appellate court in California has reversed an initial ruling, allowing the case to proceed.

This is more than just a legal hiccup for Meta; it's a situation that could have ripple effects across the digital advertising ecosystem. The plaintiff claims that Meta's ad-delivery algorithm is inherently biased, excluding certain demographics—particularly older people and women—from seeing insurance ads. The court's willingness to let the case proceed indicates that this isn't something that will just go away quietly.

What does this mean? While this case is happening in the U.S., we're seeing the potential for impact everywhere. If the court rules against Meta, it could set a global precedent affecting how you target ads. Discriminatory practices could land you in hot water, even under New Zealand's Human Rights Act.

If the case swings against Meta, we could see a seismic shift in how digital advertising is regulated, not just in the U.S. but globally. New Zealand businesses that rely heavily on Meta's platforms for targeted advertising could find themselves needing to make significant adjustments to stay within the law.

Kim's thoughts: I've enjoyed the targeting options that have been brought about by social media platforms as much as any advertiser. But I think with the rise of privacy concerns, concerns about discrimination would soon follow. At the least, I think we're going to see a lot more scrutiny of how we're targeting our advertising. What should we do?

1. Audit Your Strategy: If you're using Meta's platforms for advertising, let's schedule a review for how we're targeting your audience. Are we reliant on age and gender data?

2. Explore Other Avenues: Look into other platforms and targeting methods. We've got many ways of reaching your target market.

3. Legal Check: If there's definite concern, then it wouldn't hurt to get an expert to browse over the marketing strategy.

Kim Voon

Kim Voon


With over 15 years of experience in search and online marketing, Kim is the Founder of Insight Online. Kim started Insight as he saw an opportunity to build an agency that focuses on business results and strong working relationships with clients.

As the face of the business, Kim will likely be your first point of contact, chatting with you about your work and what you’d like to get done. The best part of his job is meeting new people, getting to know their businesses, and making a tangible, measurable difference for them.

In his spare time, Kim loves playing disc golf, strumming a little guitar and is an avid bookworm.

His favourite charities are Zeal which supports youth in their development over a number of years and Lifewise, an organisation focussed on getting homeless into homes.