SYDNEY: Australian advertisers are being short-changed by a crowded digital media landscape in which 60% or more of their spending is absorbed by numerous operators taking a cut before anything actually appears in front of a consumer.

A report from media strategy firm Ebiquity, being launched today at an Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) conference, highlights the fact that brand owners may get as little as 40 cents of media for every dollar they spend, B&T reported.

"From advertisers’ perspective, they pay $100,000 for a campaign and only get $40,000 of media," Nick Manning, Chief Strategy Officer at Ebiquity, told The Australian.

He explained that this was largely down to the murky world of programmatic ad buying platforms where a succession of intermediaries were able to take chunks of advertisers' money without being able to quantify the value they provided in return.

"Then the problems start as viewability and fraud reduces even this by roughly half on average, so the $100,000 actually equates to $20,000 of useful media," he added.

The addition of another report to the pile observing a lack of transparency in digital media comes at a time when the internet giants are coming under increasing pressure on a number of fronts.

The Australian Financial Review reported that Australian brands and agencies were taking note of the weekend’s events in the UK where several major brands – and the government – announced they were withdrawing advertising from Google over fears ads were being placed alongside inappropriate content; others have indicated they will work with Google to protect their brands.

"Chief marketing officers around the world are now focused on a very significant set of challenges in digital media," said Sunita Gloster, Chief Executive of the Australian Association of National Advertisers, citing ad fraud and viewability.

"Advertisers now want fast, decisive action for achieving real transparency and accountability through the media supply chain," she said. "It's important - media is the biggest single expense in the marketing budget."

Data sourced from B&T, Australian Financial Review; additional content by Warc staff