Media Buying Briefing: How will media agencies react when programmatic is put under the microscope?

Digiday 03 May 2021 04:01
Member Exclusive
May 3, 2021 by Michael Bürgi

Concerned that the exploding world of ad tech and automated media buying, specifically the $82 billion programmatic space, just keeps getting more confusing and complex, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) issued an RFP to potential consultant partners to understand the practice from beginning to end.

It wasn’t quite the live grenade that the ANA tossed at the media agency world in 2016 when the industry association — which represents marketers who spend billions on advertising — alleged that media agencies were covering up fraudulent and unethical behavior. At the time, media agencies lined up to swing back at the ANA and defend themselves — all while worrying what might get uncovered when it was reported in 2018 that the FBI was also investigating the issue. (To date, no serious instances of fraud have been uncovered, media agencies noted to Digiday.)

This time, holding company media agencies are staying quiet — either declining comment or not responding to requests for comment. That could have something to do with the fact that the ANA is far less accusatory this time, citing the desire to help marketers understand the flow from initial idea to actual execution, and the accompanying money flow. “The lack of full transparency for ad delivery and ad quality is diminishing marketers’ ability to fully optimize investments and drive greater business growth,” said Bob Liodice, ANA president and CEO. “We believe this lack of transparency is costing advertisers billions of dollars in waste.”

Takeoff and landing

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ANAindustry associationBob LiodicePrerna TalrujaCrossmedia
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