Programmatic – responsible brand management
It’s been a bad week for online programmatic advertising. Ads from established brands served next to jihadist content does not make good press for the online advertising industry. We all probably owe a debt of gratitude to the Times this week who’s taken this story ‘mainstream’. The industry has been aware of these and many other issues surrounding programmatic (click fraud, pricing, inventory quality etc.) since day one and not doing enough in a joined up way to deal with it. Now that major brands have truly sat up and taken notice (with John Lewis, P&G, Jaguar Land Rover and others), the heat is on.
TCS were early to enter the programmatic marketplace, and before that ad networks (the predecessors of this market). We recall similar issues with the ad networks long before the industry evolved towards ad exchanges. Back then clients, agencies, media owners and regulatory organisations pulled together to establish regulatory benchmarks, which is exactly what needs to happen this time around and what’s happening now.
In the meantime, if you’re investing in programmatic, then worth checking with your agency (or provider) what brand safety measures they have in place for programmatic. You can always check if your partner is signed up to the Digital Trading Standards Group http://jicwebs.org/digital-trading-standards-group-good-practice-principles/dtsg-information-and-forms/151-dtsgsignatories . And you can ask your agency for site lists, and what site exclusion lists they’re running.
Our view is that the industry needed a wakeup call such as this. We believe that programmatic when managed responsibly will continue to play an important role in the evolution of our industry, and not just within the online advertising space, but in more ‘traditional’ channels such as OOH and TV. More regulation and transparency will be required to restore faith on behalf of clients and allow advertisers to harness ad-tech and data to deliver results without fear being compromised.
Head of Digital