Video Essentials

The Programmatic Problem: CMOs Sound Off on Placement Issues


The CMO Council has conducted research in the areas of programmatic advertising, transparency, fake news, and brand confidence, and it’s found plenty to be worried about.

Consider that 64 percent of consumers respond better to ads from trusted news sites, while 37 percent say that when they see advertising next to objectionable material it changes their perception of the brand. And this: 66 percent of consumers will leave a brand after having a negative ad experience.

What’s causing all this worry is the rise of programmatic advertising, which still doesn’t come with enough transparency or brand safety for many. The CMO Council surveyed 316 senior marketing leaders on the subject and created a report from its findings. Of those surveyed, 63 percent were currently buying ads programmatically. While programmatic offers convenience, the days of “murky measures are over,” the report declares, calling for ad buyers to do all they can to insist on brand safety: “While programmatic buying allows for aggregation, booking, analyzing and optimization of online advertising, its demand-side software and algorithms have left some questioning whether optimization for optimization’s sake is the best strategy for their brand.”

Brand safety issues are widespread: 43 percent of those surveyed have already experienced a digital ad placement issue, and 37 percent have pulled or will pull ads because of those issues. Additionally, 78 percent say their brands’ reputations have been hurt by unintended associations with objectionable material. That’s leading to increased pressure on CMOs, with 72 percent saying they’re getting squeezed by management to gain tighter control over where company ads display.

“While programmatic has its place, chief marketing officers fully intend to prioritize brand trust over operational convenience, calling into question the risks of the open marketplace and actively taking the reins of brand integrity and control in digital display placement,” the report says.

The full report, “Brand Protection From Digital Content Infection,” is available for download for $199.




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