Many of the world’s top brands are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to governance of online marketing, tightening up their agency contracts and appointing their own inhouse experts to handle issues over transparency, brand safety, viewability and ad fraud.
According to new research by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), 35 multinational companies, with a total annual marketing spend of more than $30bn globally, report wide-ranging actions as they seek to respond to concerns that too many companies have lost control of their media activity.
Transparency remained the top priority for 47% of those questioned and although 51% say this is rising up the priority list, 14% feel this it is de-escalating, suggesting that some are seeing progress. Brand safety, the No 2 priority is moving up the agenda fast, with 70% saying it has escalated as an issue in the last 12 months.
– On transparency, 65% have improved their internal capabilities through moves such as hiring a head of programmatic. More than 70% have amended their media agency contracts and 58% have included terms that define agency status as agent or principle at law.
– On ad fraud, 55% now limit the run of exchange buys; 43% are shifting away from using CPM as their key metric in favour of business outcomes; and 40% are developing in-house resource to help tackle ad fraud.
– On viewability, 63% are now only investing in viewable impressions which meet industry standards and 37% have devised their own viewability criteria. In the UK alone, it has been claimed that over £600m a year is being wasted on non-viewable banner ads.
– On brand safety, 74% have suspended investment in ad networks where they felt there was an unnecessary risk to their brands and a further 14% plan to do so. Some 89% currently limit or plan to limit investment in ad networks that do not allow use of third-party verification.
“The WFA has long championed the need for clear and transparent relationships between brands and their agency partners. There has been a new wave of action by brands not just in the US but around the world, addressing many of the media issues that our members have highlighted including brand safety and ad fraud.
“These actions, coupled with an increasing number of WFA members sharing that they have witnessed improved transparency, are positive signs that we can create an improved media landscape for brands, agency partners and media owners,” said Robert Dreblow, head of marketing services at the WFA.
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