If 2017 was all about brand safety, then 2018 had better be all about transparency.
Brand safety was the biggest story in online advertising this year, marked by Marc Pritchard’s mic-dropping speech at the IAB Leadership Conference in January demanding that the industry grow up and do better, then the YouTube “adpocalypse”  starting in February, which showed major brand ads appearing next to highly inappropriate content.
And that doesn’t even get into fraud or viewability issues, which proved that a large amount of online budgets are simply being wasted.
To chart where the industry is now, advertising company Teads worked with researchers at Censuswide to survey 104 CMOs and marketing vice presidents from major companies (with annual turnovers of at least $25 million). In found a lot of anxiety: 78 percent are now more concerned with brand safety and 77 percent are more worried about ad fraud.
That anxiety is causing them to make changes: 93 percent of CMOs are overhauling their digital strategy and nearly half are insisting on stronger transparency from their agencies and suppliers. Going forward, 98 percent will choose partners based on their ability to verify transparency and brand safety. Surprisingly, 50 percent are thinking about bringing ad-buying operations in-house.
“These results should serve as a wake-up call for vendors and agencies, signaling that accountability will no longer just be demanded but a required part of doing business,” says Ben Matlin, senior vice president of sales at Teads. “The companies that will thrive in the future will be able to guarantee brands a fraud-free, brand safe advertising experience. In addition to aligning with industry standards and guidelines, Teads strongly believes the onus is on each vendor to be transparent with reporting on where ads are running to ensure a cleaner and safer environment for the advertiser.”
For its part, Teads is getting behind Ads.txt, which should help eliminate problems of fraudulent inventory and unauthorized sellers. It’s hosting a live panel discussion  on the topic on December 5.