LONDON: Even though the great majority (76%) of UK advertisers believe real-time advertising (RTA) will be more important for future campaigns, only a third have a positive perception of RTA and programmatic trading, a new survey has found.

The study from marketing trade body ISBA and advertising specialists Infectious Media also revealed a similar proportion are unaware of how much of their own online campaigns involve automation and 38% are "not very aware" of the different programmatic ad-buying services.

However, despite appearing to confirm advertisers' concerns about whether programmatic trading is safe, transparent and effective, the survey showed almost all respondents (96%) intend to learn more about the service.

"The survey confirms industry's suspicions that advertisers are still uncertain about real-time advertising," said David Ellison, ISBA's marketing services manager.

"Despite the uncertainty, one thing is clear though: the vast majority (76%) believe RTA will feature more strongly in future campaigns and the appetite for learning is strong," he added.

Chris Dobson, executive chairman of The Exchange Lab, the world's largest programmatic digital media marketplace, advised ad tech firms to ensure they don't neglect the importance of trust and brand safety.

"Brands spend literally years building themselves and our paramount responsibility is to recognise and protect this aspect as we build out our technology to scale automation across the ad business," he said in comments reported by MediaTel.

The ISBA study follows recent research from Starcom MediaVest Group, which revealed programmatic trading to be the most important issue for media owners when looking to the future.

Almost two-thirds (62%) of the 120 UK media companies surveyed cited programmatic to be the top issue, with content marketing coming a close second (61%) as their main concern.

Data soured from ISBA, MediaTel; additional content by Warc staff