The Association of National Advertisers’ report on commercial production practices adds to an already heaping pile of issues in the ongoing debate about how to clean up the digital advertising supply chain.
The report, released on Wednesday, places part of the burden on marketers, noting that they need to do a better job of overseeing the production process for their ads. In addition, the report cites plenty of agency “self-dealing” and an overall lack of transparency on pricing in ad production.
The ad-tech sector has been dealing with transparency issues for some time. Executives weighed in with their views:
“Due to the lack of transparency that has become status quo in the industry, brands and marketers are incredibly beholden to their agency partners. This not only limits data portability, but puts their overall business’ return on ad spend at grave risk,” said Jason Beckerman, CEO and co-founder, Unified.
“To prevent further damage, the industry needs to collectively hold itself to a higher standard. While many statements have been made by brands and agencies alike, marketers still need to reclaim power and embrace technology that can give them what they want: transparency, efficiency, effect, and speed,” said Carl Erik Kjærsgaard, CEO and co-founder, Blackwood Seven. “If there are to be any positive changes on transparency and fraud issues, it’s vital that advertisers, agencies, and marketers take ownership of their ad technology and continue to push for better industry standards from the ground up."
“Transparency in advertising is a critical issue at all levels. This is particularly the case when it comes to data-driven creative production. A company’s data has quickly become its most valuable resource, and many are still learning how to best use it to their advantage,” said Molly Schweickert, head of digital, Cambridge Analytica. “This puts [companies] at considerable risk of being taken advantage of when they hand it over to a third-party agency if it’s not clear where that data will go or how it will be used. The more transparent this relationship is, the more companies can see how this information is being used, and which information is being used.”