Australian marketers called for greater oversight in best practice as 60% admitted they have had a negative digital marketing event, including misreporting of metrics, brand safety compromises and ad fraud.
Of those that said they’d experienced an issue, 70% said it’d resulted in wasted ad spend, according to the annual research project into digital trading by Audited Media Association of Australia (AMAA).
According to the research, social media was top for needing greater oversight into best practise, while programmatic trading was also high up. However, there was a significant difference in the answers by agencies versus brands, with 72% versus 40% respectively seeing it as the area most in need of greater oversight.
A lack of transparency in digital trading is still on the minds of marketers, according to the report as 40% of respondents mentioned the word in their answers. While some 70% of marketers agreed that poor industry transparency will lead to more marketers taking their media buying in-house.
Josanne Ryan, chief executive officer of the AMAA, commented that although agencies themselves are adopting technology to combat issues in digital trading, wider industry-level measures would help increase trust.
“Whilst agencies are using adtech to manage brand safety, ad fraud and viewability on behalf of clients on an individual campaign basis, in Australia we have not yet to moved forward on more robust industry level measures. The AMAA continues to advocate for industry collaboration towards developing more robust solutions aimed at building trust in digital ad trading in our marketplace,” she said.
On being asked whether more robust self-governance would help, specifically around the idea of trading partners being certified around best practice, 70% said it would increase trust, 55% said it would mitigate risk and 50% said it would increase digital media performance.
Getting such action started takes effort however, and according to the research, the majority thought it was up to the clients to demand it (59%), while 52% said proof from advertising performance would help, 50% said more industry dialogue and education would push the idea forward, 49% said they needed proof it saves money and 48% said more industry collaboration was needed.
In some markets, such as the US and Europe, governance models like this already exist, including the Trustworthy Action Group (TAG). In Australia, there isn’t an equivalent and marketers believed this was because of a ‘lack of awareness of these issues’ (52%) and ‘complacency’ (47%) within the Australian ad industry.
Overall, only 12% said they had a high trust in the digital trading ecosystem, with 54% saying they had moderate trust and 34% having a neutral or low trust level.