Just How Accountable Is Advertising?

Well, day one of Advertising Week New York is behind us -- but as you all know, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

One interesting session toward the end of the day featured moderator Suzanne Vranica, the advertising editor at The Wall Street Journal, grilling a panel about accountable advertising.

Bottom line -- based on the questions and answers at the session -- it’s going to be a long slog to solve some of the current issues involving measurement and privacy and that marketers may just have to step up and create customized solutions unique to their own situations. As for any universal, cross-media apples-to-apples measurement metrics: not likely in our lifetimes.

So-called “Walled Gardens,” created by the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon, will not be going away anytime soon. They will plead consumer privacy till the cows come home, but those platforms want to keep the lid on all the info they possibly can.

Vranica got Ginny McCormick, Vice President of Integrated Media and Promotions, Hasbro North America, to acknowledge that Walled Gardens are far from ideal. “Partners need to take a broader view of measurement than we’ve seen to date,” McCormick replied to a question about how helpful the big internet companies are in sharing data so marketers can understand their consumers better.



But Allan Thygesen, president, Americas, Google, countered that “privacy and consent” is the new reality. Google, he said, is focused on both first- and third-party data solutions for clients.

AT&T’s Brian Lesser acknowledged that TV has been a “dark spot” for advertisers looking for a clear picture about the audiences they have been buying, but addressable advertising is changing that. Privacy is a major issue, he acknowledged, while asserting that consumers don’t mind their data “being used in a responsible way.”

And while lots of companies profess to have tools that lay out advertising ROI, “those tools don’t exist” for big companies with a portfolios of national or global brands that spend big bucks on integrated ad campaigns, said McCormick.

Both McCormick and Kristi Argyilan, senior vice president, media and guest engagement, Target, said their firms are working with Alibaba in China, where half of consumer commerce is now online.

Vranica also quizzed the panelists on whether marketers were risking brand health by focusing too much on direct-response marketing.  “Performance marketing doesn’t mean brands are dead,” Lesser responded. That said, “you can’t go too far down the road of over-optimization.”

But, Vranica persisted, while the industry has focused on data and targeting almost to a fault, such efforts have not benefited the creative process much. How come? she asked the panel.

Judging from the responses, the answer is not clear, and a resolution is a ways off.

2 comments about "Just How Accountable Is Advertising?".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 2, 2018 at 7:42 a.m.

    Judging by the comments quoted day one of Advertising Week New York is mostly about media buying, not how advertising strategies or campaigns are developed. And most of the media buying issues are focused on so far unsolvable digital media problems like "walled gardens",

  2. Ginger Cookie from Consultant, October 2, 2018 at 9:42 a.m.

    As the digitization of our (omnichannel) media consumption and far more pervasively, mobile usage continues to encroach on of our behaviour and waning attention spans, the question on "creative" with media continues to slide toward more commoditized viewing.

    It seems, today's "creative' is far too data-driven marcom, martech driven...not CREATIVE.

    In my opinion, the whole creative/adv. industry certainly has some major exceptions, Apple's creative, Virgin brand/creative, etc,.  though overwhelmingly seems to remain witihin a lethargic mode on NEW creative concepts, compared to the "originality" of the '50's, '60's, '70's, '80's...we all know these decades...and so its all getting recycled, especially with most identifiers across '70's design.   

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