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Publishers respond to P&G's concerns

News, 20 February 2017

NEW YORK: A trade body representing premium publishers, including Bloomberg and the New York Times, has sent an open letter to Procter & Gamble's Chief Brand Officer, who last month demanded action to clean up the digital ecosystem.

Digital Content Next (DCN) informed P&G's Marc Pritchard that its membership of more than 80 top publishing companies "know first-hand that both brand value and trust are hard to build but easy to destroy" and that they are "committed to building trustworthy experiences and marketing transactions for consumers and advertisers".

The letter, published in full by Advertising Age, comes after Pritchard recently told the Interactive Advertising Bureau's Annual Leadership Meeting that P&G is now insisting on accredited third-party measurement and full transparency.

"At P&G, we're expecting every media supplier – including publishers and measurement vendors – to adopt MRC-accredited, third-party verification during 2017," he told delegates at the IAB event in Hollywood, Florida.

Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next, said in the letter that the organisation agreed that advertisers need additional transparency about their programmatic investments and the placement of ads.

He said DCN members have bot rates of less than 3% and assured Pritchard that they "will continue to engage in meaningful ways to promote and protect your trusted brands".

Regarding viewability, Kint went on to say that DCN members agreed with Pritchard's "rightful demand" that all companies should adopt MDC-accredited, third-party measurement verification.

"DCN has a firm commitment to transparency and will work hard to support your efforts to diminish non-transparent practices in the industry," Kint said.

"The more transparency from start to finish, the better the digital advertising ecosystem will work in providing value to brand advertising," he added, as he pointed to DCN's TrustX marketplace whose sole purpose, he said, is "to create a sustainable future for trusted advertising".

Kint concluded by saying DCN welcomes "the opportunity to collaborate on research, best practices and industry efforts to improve our ecosystem" and invited Pritchard and the leadership team of the Association of National Advertisers to join DCN members at their next board meeting.

Data sourced from Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff