No more so than on transparency and viewability, the two huge subjects at yesterday's ISBA conference in London. Agencies are on warning that advertisers want to cut down on the waste and they want more of what they do spend to have an impact, and that starts with actually being seen.
Marc Pritchard stole the headlines, as one would imagine the P&G head marketer would, with a renewed vow to keep calling for more transparency as the company reduces its spend on "wasted media" by half. Pritchard even alluded to the famous quote that half the money spent on advertising is wasted. The trick is knowing which half -- a question he believes P&G is on the way to solving.
Spend on wasted media is already reduced by 20%, he claims, and this will soon enough be 50%. The guiding light, in showing what is wasted and what is not, comes from a better understanding of its own data and an insistence its agencies no longer "blast" out adverts but instead target audiences more effectively, based on the aforementioned data.
Behind this headline, however, there seems to be a suggestion that could affect the entire digital advertising industry, and not just P&G's relationship with its shortened agency roster.
ISBA came straight out of the block yesterday saying it is now suggesting its members, if it suits them, should opt for a viewability standard raised to 100% of an ad's pixels being visible for a second, rather than 50%. The IPA immediately welcomed the move at the conference, according to MediaTel coverage, and pointed out that is pushing for 100% viewability in video advertising as well.
It has always made sense to go for 100% because, as the examples often cited suggests, nobody would pay a small price for a small beer and no television advertisers would sign off budget on ads that are only seen on half the screen.
These are all ideas that have been discussed before but it now looks like the big brand advertisers mean business. They want a more transparent relationship with their agencies that shines a light on their media supply chain and what the data says it's the right thing to do, they want to advertise and make sure that advertising can be seen -- in its entirety.
On the face of it, it's not a lot to ask for, and now the media agencies have been warned. 2017 was the year of the debate, 2018 is turning out to be the year of action on viewability and transparency.