Let me preface this article by saying I have worked with a number of ad tech vendors, doing some stellar work for clients.
But despite having worked in the industry for the last seven years, there remain problems. Long argued issues of brand safety, measurement and an overall lack of transparency in the process of digital ad buying has followed the media narrative around programmatic for much of the last decade. Since 2011 we’ve seen articles like this one from Digiday on the ‘wild west’ of ad tech. But a year of acquisitions has narrowed the ad tech pool of players – and a noticeable shift to reposition as martech companies has been accompanied by increased conversations of education and adding demonstrable business value.
Well Sydney’s ICC played host to some of the industry’s foremost thinkers in the space at last week’s Ashton Programmatic Summit.
To give a little context, it’s well worth, seeing the opening remarks from the IAB’s Vijay Solanki here.
And for further insight on transparency issues, which were highlighted during the event, see Which-50 cover story from Andrew Birmingham in his post here.
In an effort to address the ad fraud, Ad News reports that App Nexus is enforcing ads.txt which it explains: “The IAB’s ads.txt protocol is an effort to crack down on ad fraud in programmatic trading. It makes it much more difficult for fraudsters to commit domain spoofing, where imitation domains mimic premium publisher’s URLs to trick buyers into buying inventory from an unrelated site.”
During the event, Danielle Uskovic, head of digital APAC for Lenovo pointed to the success in the last 10 years of programmatic, going on to claim it’s the future for all media buying “From print to billboard to radio and TV, it’s all going to be served programmatically – so it’s time to embrace it. It’s time to realise that this is the future.”
Uskovic went on to call out naysayers of ad tech, covered by Ad News, to which Mark Ritson has replied in the comments and points out the industry needs to address issues within the ‘murky’ (P&G’s Marc Pritchard’s wording) value chain.
Infamously sceptical about the effectiveness of digital media, Ritson has dedicated his weekly column in The Aus to highlight the discrepancy in margins for media agencies between digital ad buys (typically 7-10 per cent across the duopoly of Facebook/Google) over traditional media (often just 3 per cent for TV, OOH, radio, etc).
The debate is not going away any time soon as industry events will continue to build on the tension between the diametrically opposed Jason Pellegrino from Google and adjunct business professor Mark Ritson.