Transparency–Not Yet Clear if It’s Here

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Adotas asked Jason Beckerman, CEO and co-Founder, Unified; Henrik Busch, Blackwood Seven’s managing director and co-founder; and John Donahue, Sonobi’s chief product & marketing officer for their insights and predictions concerning transparency in media.

Q: What, if anything, has changed over the course of the last year since the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) released their report on transparency?

A: Jason Beckerman, CEO and co-Founder, Unified: There is far less action than there should be – brands are listening to the ANA report and are taking the concept of data ownership more seriously, but it’s clear there is more work to be done. Today, more than half of marketers do not have any transparency into or control of their social advertising data sets.  
    
    
    
    
    
  

A: Henrik Busch, Blackwood Seven‘s managing director and co-founder: In the year since the ANA reports, transparency continues to plague the advertising industry. Many lofty statements have been made by brands and agencies alike, and marketers still need to reclaim power and embrace technology. This will give them transparency, efficiency and speed they need to move forward.
  
    
    
    
    
  
A: John Donahue, Sonobi’s chief product & marketing officer: A transparent and direct marketplace is the only marketplace that can scale and survive in the long term. Some of our partners are pushing hard on this front along with us to ensure that a direct, fair, and transparent market is the only market that continues to be invested in.  
    
    
    
  

What are the key milestones and benchmarks that have been reached or attempted in this year since the report?

A: Beckerman When Mary Meeker released her Internet Trends report, it was clear that ad dollars are moving, quickly, to the social ecosystem, and this is an area that needs way more focus from brands. This makes brands incredibly beholden to their agency partners, limiting data portability, and putting their overall business ROAS at grave risk. We believe the next 18 months will be transformational in this area—brands will really wake up to this need.

A: Busch Procter & Gamble is one of the biggest advertisers in the industry – all eyes are on them after they took a big step this year and challenged agencies and media owners on issues such as viewability and fraud. Once they decide how they’ll manage their media, brands across the industry are likely to follow suit.

A: Donahue We still have a ways to go here, but we are making progress and working with our partners to allow direct remittance— ensuring margin erosion and hidden fees that are called out in the report are eradicated.

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