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Why, in 2018, transparency will continue to force change in digital media

2018 Predictions: Transparency

If you had predicted that 2017 would be the year that the CMO of P&G was going to make a big push for transparency in media, many would have ignored you.

After the diverse year we have had, where not only Marc Pritchard, but many others have put transparency firmly on the agenda as a point for the industry to address, it may seem strange to keep hammering the same point home. Nevertheless, transparency is a word which is gaining traction among consumers, stakeholders and vendors as they wrestle with this increasingly popular concept. Much of this is being amplified by the numerous social media giants who too are being asked to be more open and transparent about their operations.

Advertisers and many in the ecosystem are now looking at transparent models, many based around ISBA’s new contract terms, however we still have a long way to go. After all, what do we mean by transparency? How does transparency benefit advertisers?

We believe that 2018 will be the year that transparency will stop being a word that many use and start being a set of actions which will transform the advertising industry into a much more open and consumer-centric market.

Transparency of Consumer Data

GDPR will change the way the advertising industry operates by placing the power of data into the hands of the consumer.

May 2018 is going to have a profound impact on how data is used, stored and passed through the advertising ecosystem. The need to audit what data is being gathered will force an awareness of data leakage by advertisers and media owners that has not had the same focus previously. Bad practice will be challenged in this new world and many systems that have been cavalier with consumer data will run foul of the new guidelines.

Transparency of Trading Margin

Transparency of margin is going to be crucial for buyers. It is fundamental for the health of the media market.

We will see the demise of opaque buying systems that optimise to arbitrage and result in ads being placed on low value and potentially fraudulent sites. There will be more quality controls in all parts of the buying system therefore providing better value for advertisers, hopefully stronger yields for quality publishers and an ongoing reduction in fraudulent activity.

Transparency is not guaranteed by so called “self serve” models either, so we expect to see greater scrutiny on those platforms too.

Transparency of Placement and inventory source

The ads.txt initiative has been the success story of 2017. The sheer simplicity has accelerated adoption and makes it incredibly effective as a validation tool. The number of publishers with an ads.txt file has grown exponentially in the last couple of months, causing buying and exchange platforms to scramble and indicate their intent to support it.

2018 will see the next phase, where these platforms will deliver on their promises, initially blocking media from unapproved sources, but later excluding media from publishers without an ads.txt file.

Since the start of 2017, discussion about transparency has augmented. In 2018 we will see discussion turn into action and adtech will move into it’s next stage and finally grow up.

Paul Wright, CEO, iotec.

Email: hello@iotecglobal.com

Twitter: @iotecglobal

​Tel: 020 3770 7606

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