Some of the biggest advertisers in the world have joined forces with at least three major agencies to form a new organisation that aims to clean up digital marketing.

Called U7, the new brand and agency-powered council is the brainchild of Unruly, the video marketplace owned by News Corp, which said it wanted to “create a dialogue” with advertisers so they can play an active role in shaping the future of digital marketing.

Unruly provided further detail in a statement, explaining that the independent council includes senior representatives from American Express, Diageo, GSK, IHG, L’Oréal, Mars, Nestlé, Samsung, Unilever and The Wall Street Journal.

They will be joined by top executives from Dentsu, Havas and WPP agency Wavemaker, who have committed themselves to dealing with ongoing industry issues around brand safety, transparency and the business practices of some digital platforms and agencies.

“We want to prove that adtech can live up to a higher standard of openness and honesty. For too long, clients have had to put up with solutions forced on them by adtech companies,” said Norm Johnston, CEO of Unruly.

“The U7 puts brand and agencies in the driving seat. We’re bringing clients inside every team of Unruly, from product development to business practices, and we’ve brought together an incredible bunch of people for some provocative and inspiring discussion.”

The first of these discussions, dubbed “Hearts and Minds”, took place last week during Advertising Week in New York and involved leading brand executives, such as Ben Sutherland, Diageo’s chief digital officer, and Luis Di Como, EVP of global media at Unilever.

Speaking ahead of the event, Di Como said: “Back in February we said we needed to collectively rebuild trust back into our digital systems and wider society.

“Scaling this digital responsibility framework across the industry is the action we need, which is why I am very excited to join the U7 council and to collaborate with like-minded advertisers.”

Unruly also revealed that members of the U7 initiative will get access to new Unruly products, including Programmatic Guaranteed, which launches globally in October and allows buyers to access guaranteed buys across exclusive sites at a fixed price.

Sourced from Unruly; additional content by WARC staff