70% of media companies consider brand safety to be a core issue in digital advertising

Whilst media transparency, including ad spending and agency supply agreements, remains a key issue for many brands, new research suggest that companies have begun to take action after publication of the Association of National AdvertisersMedia Transparency report.

According to the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), brands have committed to making some major changes to their media governance practices.

Transparency still is a core issue for 47% of responding brands whilst 51% said it was becoming more of a priority. Specifically, 41% of respondents conducted a programmatic review, whilst 35% improved their media knowledge via training internally.

Another 70% said that brand safety had been significantly promoted as a core issue to address. As such, 54% of brands and media companies have been working with third-party verification companies to monitor where their adverts appear, whilst the same percentage of advertisers suspended investment in ad networks that present as an unnecessary risk. Almost half (49%) also adopted practices such as whitelisting or blacklisting where their adverts should or should not be placed.

When it comes to transparency, the WFA found that 65% have boosted their internal features such as hiring new expert members of staff (head of programmatic). Over 70% also amended existing media agency contract.

Advertising fraud is another serious concern for many media brands and as such 55% are now limiting exchange buy runs, whilst 43% have moved from CPM as their key metric to other business outcomes. 40% are also focused on developing in-house resources to tackle ad fraud.

In terms of viewability, 63% have begun to invest in viewable impressions that meet industry standards whilst 37% changed their own viewability criteria. 57% of respondents said they have implemented viewer tracking using third-party vendors.

According to Robert Dreblow, Head of Marketing Services at the WFA, the ANA report is responsible for setting this shift in motion.

“These actions, coupled with an increasing number of WFA members sharing that they have witnessed improved transparency, are positive signs that we can create an improved media landscape for brands, agency partners and media owners.”