Advertisers are not particularly worried about potential conflicts of interest when media planning and buying are performed by the same agency, but they are far more concerned when media rebates are not disclosed.

This is the top issue contributing to the breakdown of trust in the advertising ecosystem, according to a survey, which garnered 188 respondents, conducted by the Association of National Advertisers’ Trust Consortium and the ANA’s outside counsel, Reed Smith.

Respondents were asked to rate 18 issues on a scale of one to 10 on how these contribute towards that lack of trust, with one being “no problem” and 10 being “a big problem”.

The study showed that 32% of respondents cited media rebates as “a big problem” (compared with just 7% for the conflict of interest).

Other issues cited as contributing to the breakdown of trust included data confidentiality, invalid traffic and digital ad fraud, and agencies reselling media to clients with an undisclosed markup – all cited as “a big problem” by 30% of respondents.

Additional issues of concern to respondents included:

• Rebates for digital ad data

• Lack of transparency into the cost components of the programmatic media supply chain

• Data integrity issues (i.e. accuracy and relevance)

• Walled garden limitations on measurement

• Brand safety

• Influencer fraud (i.e., fake followers, fake engagement stats).

Many of these issues were highlighted back in 2016 in the ANA/K2 Intelligence report. “While significant progress has been made since then, this new survey indicates the persistence of those issues,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice.

Douglas Wood, a partner with Reed Smith, highlighted the role of the Trust Consortium, launched in April this year, in addressing the issue of trust between marketers and the advertising ecosystem.

“It’s a call to open discussions and focus on what we can change and where we can’t agree, to understand one another’s concerns,” he explained.

“It won’t be simple but if we can begin open and honest discussions between brands, agencies, publishers, auditors and consultants, DSPs, SSPs, trading desks, and publishers, we can start to restore trust and contribute to growth.” 

Sourced from ANA