Digital Advertising Update - what agencies really think about native advertising, Future Media's global programmatic push; and are viewability metrics realistic?

The Drum's news editor Jessica Davies pulls together the latest news and analysis from the world of digital advertising. Follow Jess on Twitter @jessdaviesmk.

The Drum's weekly round-up of the digital advertising landscape takes a look at what agencies are really thinking about native advertising, and how they are planning for it; the motives behind Future Publishing's global programmatic exchange; why Dennis Publishing may ditch programmatic to go native, while IAB chief Guy Phillipson's questions whether viewability are realistic.

Confusion over definitions of native advertising still high

This week saw some solid research emerge from Far Partners and Adyoulike which didn’t just seek to capitalise on the buzz term and hot topic that is native advertising, but sought to shed light on some of the issues which need urgent addressing – namely – what exactly it is, how should it be measured, and whose budget should it come from.

Given the amount of agencies already incorporating some form of native advertising into their media plans, (as shown in the report) it’s clear native is here to stay.

And there are even some who see it as a format which could hold its own against the tidal wave that is programmatic ad trading. After all, the selling of truly native content is not necessarily something that can be automated, but sold as a bespoke brand experience that has been cultivated and tailored by a team of people.

Dennis Publishing could ditch programmatic in favour of native

Digital display advertising has become commoditised and brands are increasingly seeking richer ways of engaging – and for now native advertising, for some is the answer.

Dennis Publishing’s sales chief Gary Rayneau told The Drum that if display continues to suffer from over-commoditisation it will ditch programmatic trading and “go native” instead.

Future launches global private marketplace

And yet programmatic trading has evolved well beyond its original reason for existing – which was essentially to provide a more efficient way of using data to monetise the large volumes of long-tail online inventory, available due to the seemingly infinite and ever-increasing number of web-based properties.

To some the term programmatic is still haunted by negative connotations – terms like ‘technology tax’, ‘arbitrage’, ‘lack of transparency’, and of course ‘remnant’.

Yet Future Publishing’s latest move in this space is yet another indicator of how much the programmatic market – which accounted for £500m of UK advertisers’ £1.86bn display spend last year (source: IAB) – has progressed.

The media group, owner of titles including Total Film, T3 and Tech Radar, has followed in the footsteps of News Corp and Turner and created its first global, private programmatic ad exchange, powered by Rubicon Project.

The move means hundreds of thousands of advertisers can now access and bid on premium display and mobile inventory across the media group global portfolio of brands, via a single platform.

As Rubicon Project’s general manager, International Jay Stevens pointed out – to compete with the likes of Google and Facebook for ad revenue publishers must look to similar methods if they are to be able to compete.

Meanwhile chief executive of the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) Guy Phillipson has penned an article for The Drum on whether it is realistic for the client to expect every impression to be viewed. He draws on the analogy of the movie Trading Places starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd to hammer home his point - you will have to read the full article to find out why.

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