World Federation of Advertisers says lack of transparency in programmatic trading remains “main barrier” to brand uptake
The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has cited the continued “lack of transparency” in the programmatic trading ecosystem as the main issue for its advertiser members investing further in the market. Speaking to The Drum Robert Dreblow, WFA head of marketing capabilities and judge at The Drum’s forthcoming Digital Trading Awards, said there are some concerns among its brand members, regarding the transparency and visibility around the programmatic trading process, which must be rectified before the true potential of this method of ad trading can be fully realised. Part of the problem lies in the extensive programmatic value chain which has arisen as a result of the overcrowded vendor market, with multiple companies all offering to provide different, specialist sections of the trading cycle, which is bumping up incremental costs, according to Dreblow. "There is an issue of arbitrage going on, with all the different levels in value in the value chain in terms of incremental costs being added. So when it comes to say, a hundred dollars in media investment - perhaps only 50 per cent of that will end up as working media. That's because of the incremental costs that are being added as it goes down the value chain, with the demand-side platforms (DSPs) and demand-management platforms (DMPs) and so on," he said. The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), whose members include international brands such as Pernod Ricard, Coca-Cola, Red Bull, Visa and Johnson & Johnson, is seeing an increasing amount of interest and "investigation" from its members when it comes to ascertaining what the true value of programmatic trading is and what ROI it can provide. Although the amount of investment compared to other channels such as TV remains minimal amongst its members, many are aware it will become "the future" of media trading, according to Dreblow. Yet there are major barriers which must be addressed first, regarding investment transparency and visibility. "There is still an education job to be done before we can put all clients' minds at ease," he added. Dreblow is also a judge for The Drum's Digital Trading Awards, created to reward transparency and clarity in the digital ad ecosystem. The deadline for entries is today 6 February. If you require an extension for your entry please contact events manager Katy Thomson. The award winners will be unveiled in ceremony on 24 April in the Marriott Grosvenor Square London. He will also speak on a ‘Programmatic Friend or Foe ‘ panel at The Drum’s forthcoming Digital Convergence conference , a day dedicated to helping marketing professionals stay on top of the increasingly 'always on' nature of their audiences. The conference, which will tackle topics including The Power of Context & Being Relevant to the Moment; Connecting with Consumers Rather than their Devices; Real Time Opportunities, and Unification & Leverage of Data, will be located at America Square Conference Centre in East London on 12 March.