When it comes to brand safety, CMOs are getting worried and 95% of them are overhauling their digital strategies

CMOs are making radical changes to their digital marketing budgets and management following a tumultuous year during which issues with brand safety, transparency and advertising fraud have come to light.

Now, research by Teads has found that 44% of UK-based CMOs are reviewing their contracts with suppliers and 43% are reviewing agencies.

It’s no surprise that brands are more concerned about where their ads are placed following The Times’ exposure of how advertisements appeared next to terrorist or offensive content.

Now, 83% of marketing leaders say they are more concerned about brand safety and 77% are also worried about ad fraud more than they were before.

Therefore, 95% of CMOs said that they have overhauled their digital marketing strategy.

A large majority of them (93%) said that they would choose agencies and suppliers based on their ability to demonstrate brand safety and transparency in the future.

Another 36% said they had boycotted or reduced spending on channels which do not guarantee brand safety and 37% said they were more directly involved in their company’s digital strategy execution now.

39% have discussed booking campaigns directly with suppliers and 41% are even thinking about taking ad buying in-house.

All of this should be a wake-up call to ad networks and marketing agencies.

Justin Taylor, UK MD at Teads, explains:

“2017 has been a wake up call for the whole digital advertising industry and it’s encouraging to see senior leaders taking this seriously. 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.”

Brand safety concerns are something CMOs just cannot compromise on and 43% now want the reassurance from publishers that they are controlling risky content. Many CMOs (36%) also ask that agencies address transparency issues whilst 34% are worried about how users may react to ads next to unsafe content.

However, the respondents did suggest ways to make changes. Almost half of them, would like to see tighter industry regulation and standards for fraud and brand safety.

45% would like to see a stronger focus on quality of ad placements and enhanced reporting of such.

Greater transparency and definitions of what deems an ad “viewable” are also desired changes.

Taylor adds: 

“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. That’s why Teads is a member of the IAB Ads.txt initiative and partners with DoubleVerify and JICWEBS to guarantee safety and transparency.”