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P&G, Google aim to improve online ads

News, 16 September 2016

NEW YORK/COLOGNE: Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Google have all been named among the founding members of The Coalition for Better Ads, a new body seeking to "improve consumers' experience with online advertising".

Officially unveiled at the dmexco conference in Cologne, The Coalition will initially focus its efforts on three areas. The first is formulating "consumer-based, data-driven standards" for players like agencies, brands and ad-tech firms to follow.

Working with the IAB Tech Lab, a second aim involves developing and introducing technology that helps marketers implement these standards – potentially covering issues as diverse as load times and creative execution – in practice.

A further goal will then be to build awareness of these criteria among consumers and companies alike, both to ensure they are utilised, and for generating feedback.

"It is essential that industry create standards to assure that consumers get safe, fast, secure delivery of the sites and services they love," Randall Rothenberg, President/CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), said in a statement.

"Advertising funds the diversity of information, entertainment, and services on the free internet, but that doesn't give business a license to abuse the good will of consumers."

Some other companies participating in The Coalition for Better Ads are GroupM, the media arm of WPP Group, and The Washington Post, the news title owned by Jeff Bezos, who is also the Chairman/CEO of Amazon.

Alongside the IAB, the trade bodies represented include the 4A's (American Association of Advertising Agencies), Association of National Advertisers (ANA), DMA and the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA).

Bob Liodice, Chairman/CEO of the ANA, emphasised the fact the Coalition's activities will be based on consumer research, mirroring the approach traditionally taken by brands, which identify, and then try to meet, customer needs.

"Advertising has been the economic driver of the explosive growth of the internet and mobile media. To assure that advertising fulfils this critical role, the digital marketplace needs continually to be strengthened," he added.

Elaborating on this theme, Nancy Hill, President/CEO of the 4A's, cited the rise of ad blocking as an indicator that "room for improvement" very much exists when discussing the online consumer experience.

"Now is the time for advertising professionals and marketers to look at ourselves to understand why consumers are not responding to these types of ads, and figure out how we can correct the issue to better engage with the consumers we're trying to reach," she suggested.

"Ads support free content, quality journalism and enable social connections across the internet,” added Stephan Loerke, CEO of the WFA. "But people are telling us they are fed up with how ads are being delivered on their favourite sites. We hear that message loud and clear."

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff