ANA investigation into programmatic media buying aims to eliminate waste

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ANA investigation into programmatic media buying aims to eliminate waste

Worldwide programmatic advertising spending is expected to exceed US$200 billion, but only 40 to 60 per cent of investments by advertisers actually reach publishers, according to the US Association of National Advisors (ANA).

The ANA this week appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to lead its investigation into the programmatic ecosystem, with aims to “eliminate waste” in media buying decision making.

According to the Programmatic Media Transparency RFP, material issues in the programmatic landscape are driven by a lack of transparency and accountability, complexity, ad fraud, viewability issues, latency and brand safety concerns.

The RFP states, “Advertisers are subject to arbitrage, markups, rebates, proprietary and opaque algorithms, data transparency issues, a myriad of dataset costs, and a plethora of charges that have not been fully exposed. Lack of full transparency for ad delivery and ad quality is negating their ability to fully optimise their investments and drive greater business growth."

The two-stage investigation will be the first of its kind in providing a full analysis of the marketplace from both advertiser to publisher and publisher to audience, including the open web, social media and online video.

According to ANA CEO Bob Liodice, “The lack of full transparency for ad delivery and ad quality is diminishing marketers’ ability to fully optimise investments and drive greater business growth. We believe this lack of transparency is costing advertisers billions of dollars in waste.”

The objectives of the study (summarised):

  • To drive brand growth through waste elimination
  • Improve transparency of the media supply chain
  • Introduce sustainable industry standards
  • Determine the need for industry oversight bodies
  • Improve marketing decision making

The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) conducted a programmatic study with three major members, and stated in the report, "If advertisers remain passive, it’s likely that transparency, data, and trust failures will plague them for years.”

PwC’s principal, marketing and media transformation, Derek Baker told Digiday that the study differs from the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers’ (ISBA) Programmatic Supply Chain Transparency Study as it will take a more comprehensive approach to better understand how the ad tech ecosystem affects marketing budgets.

“We really want to go all the way from brand advertiser to audience and understand what that full supply chain looks like and where the value is to advertisers and where the gaps are,” said Baker.

“We’re actually going to outline what are the tools and techniques that brands can use to take action.”

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