It's just laughable, to me, that the industry can think a better understanding between creatives, planners and buyers and the people in the client side will suddenly iron out any difficulties they may have as they get used to the way each other works.
The problem with programmatic is very simple. Advertisers aren't entirely sure they can trust it. It's worse that they think they could be getting ripped off -- not just by rogue Web sites but also by their own agencies.
You really don't need to be a planner or buyer or ad exec of any kind to realise that if people buy something, they want to know they got it and how much they paid for it. They don't just want to know the end price -- they want to know how much markup there was on their media and which companies in the middle, with their fab tools, were also paid. In short, advertisers want an itemised bill -- and they're generally not getting it.
Even more simply, they want to know what they've paid for was actually visible to humans. Estimates vary, but generally tend to suggest around half of all display isn't viewable because it typically appears below the fold. An article this week in Real-Time Daily suggested that in some instances, it was way north of a half.
In a cost-per-click world that wouldn't be too bad because the client wouldn't have paid. However, for modern advertisers, display is no longer about engagement -- I mean, who actually ever clicks on an ad, other than a robot? It's all about branding and awareness and if you're paying for that, the very least you can expect is that your advert has the possibility of being viewed.
So let's have a really firm reality check here. Programmatic is a fabulous opportunity to buy targeted audiences in real-time -- it really is. However, non-itemised billing and display not being viewable and open to rampant click fraud are not very good things at all.
If you want the system to work better, this really isn't about saying how each other's jobs work out and who does what to bring an advert to a human eye. It is an incredibly simple case of being open, honest and transparent with clients and doing all one can to ensure their adverts are seen by real people. It's also about ensuring they -- and not rivals -- have access to their data, but that's another can of worms for another day.
If you want to know why some big brands are going their own way, or at least insisting they have a private trading desk within an agency, you need not look any further.