Telegraph moves to quell advertiser fears regarding lack of transparency in programmatic trading

The Telegraph’s commercial team has pledged its commitment to transparency in programmatic ad trading in a letter sent to all its advertisers.

The publisher’s sales and trading director Jim Freeman and client director Melanie Danks penned a letter entitled 'Programmatic does not need to be problematic', in which they moved to quell any rising fears or uncertainty brewing in the advertising community regarding programmatic ad trading and the transparency of digital ad trading in general.

The letter read: “As programmatic media buying grows towards £1bn, we are increasingly hearing stories of clients’ money being compromised by unsuitable brand placements, click fraud and sham sites…

“We understand how difficult navigating the complicated and fragmented media landscape is for marketeers and we firmly believe that this should not be made worse by a lack of transparency.”

It referenced a Financial Times article, which ran on 26 March, with the headline: 'Mercedes online ads viewed more by fraudster robots than humans' as the kind of story which may be causing uncertainty and fear in the ad community.

Also in the letter it announced its plans to introduce The Telegraph Customer Charter – its guarantee to all advertisers that its trading, whether programmatic-based or direct sales will be fully transparent and accountable.

Freeman and Danks explained in the letter: “This is a guarantee to you, our customers, that when you buy The Telegraph, either direct or programmatically, every penny you spend and impression you buy will deliver the following: Real people (No Click Bots); a quality and engaging environment to ensure context and attention; a more affluent audience than Facebook, Yahoo, MSN, AOL and all other Newsbrands; quality and engaging content produced by a network of over 500 journalists across the world with the most sophisticated state of the art tools at their disposal; and the most loyal and data rich audience in Newsbrands."

This June the Internet Advertising Bureau released its first ever programmatic audit, revealing that programmatic trading accounted for £500m of advertisers' £1.86bn display spend in the UK.