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Consumer Behaviour Media Planning and Buying Digital Marketing

Ad verification drives positive ROI: L’oreal, Carlton & United Breweries and Mediacom explain how

By Amit Bapna, Editor-at-large (APAC)

February 16, 2022 | 7 min read

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Topics such as brand safety and ad fraud have driven attention around ad verification tools but research now reveals using these tools can drive up to 287% ROI. The Drum speaks to brands and agencies about why these tools are driving impact on the bottom line.

Ad verification

According to the research, brands plan to significantly increase their usage of monitoring tools.

In a digitally connected world, it is becoming increasingly evident that brand reputation has become more fragile than ever, and incidents can negatively impact companies, employees, shareholders, and beyond.  

The good news, however, is that incidents stemming from advertisements being placed in brand unsafe environments can often be avoided with the proper tools and processes in place. For brands that have sophisticated digital strategies, the usage of these tools has become part of the roadmap for efficient marketing allocation.

Investment or cost: Making the value case for ad verification 

A conversation on the importance of ad verification is overall pretty straightforward and an easy sell. The largest barrier is the incremental cost, which needs to be considered in the context of the placement, says Paul Waller, chief investment officer APAC, Mediacom. 

“For our advertisers, we see the greatest return in the reassurance of brand safety and validation of placement,” he adds.

Adding to this, Liam Hale, Digital Brand Communications Manager at Carlton & United Breweries, says tools that guard against fraud are key to brand growth and driving efficiencies.

“The media landscape is complex, cluttered, and competitive and therefore ripe for fraudulent activity. Whilst our primary use case for ad verification is to inform media and creative efficiency, that’s not to say we don’t hold our partners to account for delivery to the right audiences and the right placements.”

“I would add that whilst ad verification helps us navigate this landscape, cost efficiency alone does not offset poor planning. Our digital team is the heartbeat of how our brands go to market, so long as they are armed with the right tools and the ability to take the right course of action then our brands are in the best position to succeed,” he adds.

As per a recent Forrester-Oracle study, ad verification is actually delivering as much as 287% ROI due to the efficiencies it drives, as well as the reduced wasted spend. Brands like L’Oréal, CUB and many others are deploying the future-ready ad verification tools.

One of these tools is Oracle Advertising’s brand-safe, suitable and responsive media solution (Oracle Moat), which offers full-impression lifecycle support that can deliver incremental value to the client’s top and bottom lines.

Brand safety – a critical concern for marketers   

According to the research, brands plan to significantly increase their usage of monitoring tools. Some 77% of respondents said that they aimed to increase access to brand-safe and brand suitable environments through improved monitoring. 

The growing concern around brand safety is especially relevant in the current scenario because “a misplaced ad could be screenshotted, shared, and start trending, causing material damage to the brand,” according to the report.

The research also found 63% of Singaporean online adults preferred to buy from brands that stay true to their own values, while 78% of Indian online adults surveyed preferred to buy from brands that stay true to their own values. Clearly, brand values have a significant impact on consumer preferences and purchasing decisions.

Ad verification is growing in importance for all media formats, and as the maxim goes – “if you don't measure it, you can't manage it”, adds Waller.

Recalibrating the new age media plan

Marketers need a tool that can monitor and measure most advertisements, producing consistent and customizable metrics that organizations can feed into larger analytics platforms, or use to inform marketing and advertising strategy.

For a multi-market company like L’Oréal, ad verification by an independent third party is part of their digital investment that all countries have to undertake. Equally importantly, the verification needs to be independent, and not undertaken by any of the tech giants such as Meta or Google, informs Lyndall Campher, media director – L’Oréal Australia & New Zealand. This is where a solution like Oracle Moat Analytics works well, filling the critical need gaps.

“L’Oréal as an organisation has very high restrictions for brand safety for its big tech partners such as YouTube and Meta,” explains Campher.

The company managed to do course correction of their marketing playbook on the back of these tools. Using the viewability data on Oracle’s tools, for example, it was able to demonstrate that long-form content did not work on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram as part of the infeed placement. They found that up to 80% of viewers did not view the content for longer than two seconds.

Value over price

Ad verification tools are also bringing focus on value rather than price, and “deploying the tools like Moat is one part of the marketing tech stack that makes our digital planning and buying even smarter”, shares Carlton & United Breweries’ Hale.

For Hale, the biggest value add is the confidence it gives to the teams.

“Ad verification gives the business and the teams confidence in the ad spend and effectiveness. The application of ad verification is most valuable in allowing us to measure ourselves against our media playbook, a set of guiding principles that are designed to help each of our brands grow”, explains Hale.

“One of the principles our portfolio of brands work towards is a cumulative weekly reach goal based on their individual life stage, and without the transparency of ad verification, we would be unable to measure the specific reach and frequency targets our digital channels have each week,” he adds.

As savvy marketers accept and start asking for brand-safe, suitable, and responsive media solutions, the key question is how much of a return the tools deliver, particularly as marketers cast their attention onto new metrics.

“For us, valid and viewable digital inventory is housekeeping. We are learning how ad verification can go beyond brilliant basics and impact broader business outcomes. A common metric we refer to now is attention. Moat has helped us understand how we can collate individual digital metrics and plan more strategically to capture more attention from more consumers,” explains Hale.

To find out more about how verification and analytics tools can drive positive ROI, download the Forrester report.

Consumer Behaviour Media Planning and Buying Digital Marketing

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