LONDON: The vast majority (95%) of CMOs at leading brands in the UK say they have overhauled their digital strategies this year following widespread publicity about brand safety, fraud and transparency, a new survey has revealed.

Ever since Marc Pritchard, Procter & Gamble’s Chief Brand Officer, delivered a devastating speech in January about the state of digital advertising, brand safety has been the dominant issue for marketers in 2017.

And further evidence of ongoing concern in the industry comes from Teads, the video advertising marketplace, which commissioned Censuswide to question 100 CMOs and marketing VPs at UK companies with a turnover of at least £20m.

According to the findings, 83% of respondents say they have become more concerned about brand safety over the last 12 months, with around three-quarters (77%) more worried about ad fraud than previously.

In response to these concerns, 44% are reviewing their relationships with suppliers and another 43% are examining their agency relationships, with 93% saying that in future they will only select agencies and suppliers that can prove brand safety and transparency.

More than a third (36%) have boycotted or reduced spend on channels that cannot guarantee brand safety, while 37% of CMOs say they are now directly involved in the execution of digital strategy. Furthermore, some 41% are considering taking ad-buying in-house.

Elsewhere, the survey revealed that 43% of UK CMOs want publishers to assure them that risky content on their sites are under control, more than a third (36%) want agencies to address their questions about transparency, while 34% are concerned about how users could react to ads appearing next to unsafe content.

Nearly half (46%) say there should be even tighter industry-wide standards and self-regulation, 45% want more focus on reporting the quality of ad placements, while a third (34%) want greater transparency from suppliers and agencies about where ads appear and their definition of success, such as ad viewability.

“In order to get to the root of these issues we need to rally together as an industry to make sure transparency, brand safety and fraud-free environments are guaranteed at every level,” said Justin Taylor, UK MD at Teads.

“For brands and agencies, this means having transparency and verification on ad buys; if it’s not viewed, the advertiser shouldn’t pay. For consumers this means seeing non-intrusive, quality creative. For publishers, it’s having access to high-yield video inventory and global brand advertisers, with the right tools to prevent fraud.”

Sourced from Teads; additional content by WARC staff