• 19 September 2017

    Over the last 18 months, much of our time has been focused on helping members drive new standards of practice in media agency contracts and building member confidence that new terms can be agreed with both network and independent agencies. 

    The new Framework Media Services Contract template we launched in April 2016 was an initiative designed to enhance our members’ ability to trade on a transparent basis with their media agency partners. The terms enable further understanding of the digital ecosystem, ensure digital standards are discussed with the agency and that policy is set and enshrined in contracts. The template contract requires agencies to be clear on their role and responsibilities in handling the media bought and budgets managed on behalf of client’s.

    A recent review of how ISBA members are using the contract in practice has revealed some positive details that will boost the confidence of any advertiser looking to use the terms to inform their own media agency negotiations.

    Various myths have abounded since the contract was launched like ‘agencies belonging to networks will not sign up to these terms’ and ‘only small advertisers will use the contract’….well these myths have now been busted by our usage review!

    Our review revealed £6.1b worth of ISBA member media spend as having either already been renegotiated (27 organisations spending £1.67b already completed negotiations) or that will be renegotiated (18 companies with £4.5b spend) in the near future, the next 12 months. The review indicates that the terms are being adopted by some of the biggest advertisers.

    And furthermore it indicated that terms can be agreed with network agencies, the majority of the negotiations reported on were with agencies belonging to major networks, 96% of those who have negotiated new terms already, and 81% of those who plan to renegotiate in the near future.  So that’s two myths busted!

    As well as being used locally, the contract is being adapted to create terms that are international in scope and not just relevant in the UK; in 50% of cases, the terms had been used, by those who had already renegotiated, to help create contracts that were international in scope.  And two-thirds of those planning to use the terms in the future indicated that they were using them to create international terms or MSAs.

    Of course, not everything in negotiations was plain sailing and compromises had to be made in just under half of the cases reported on, but this is a scenario to be expected in any commercial contract negotiation.

    There were no surprises on areas of contention in the contract, the agency community pushing back on most clauses related to greater visibility and transparency. However, there were also a sizeable number agencies reported on who had no issues with these clauses.

    Our review of use of the ISBA framework media contract contains a great deal more insight for anyone interested in using the terms, including make-up of negotiating teams, whether external help was used, time taken to negotiate, contentious clauses, shared learnings and much more, if you’d like a copy and to understand more about how the contract can help you transform commercial relationships with your media agencies, do get in touch.

    Significant progress is being made by ISBA members in their conversations on enhancing contracts with their media agencies and your organisation too could be benefiting from more transparent better-managed terms.

    Don’t just take our word for it, listen to your peers: “The ISBA template media agency contract was a great checklist to ensure all aspects of the deal were covered.  It helped change the way our internal legal team approached the format of the contract and gave additional credibility to the procurement process” Procurement, £46m spend

    To request a copy of the review contact me.  

    Debbie Morrison
    Director of Consultancy & best Practice, ISBA

  • 08 September 2017

    Making on-boarding martech solutions easier - prepared by marketers for marketers

    One of the major challenges facing marketers is ensuring their organisation partners with the right people. When it comes to identifying and on-boarding tech suppliers, including ad servers, demand-side platforms and tag management systems, the number available and complexity of companies offering marketing technology solutions makes it that much more difficult, significantly drawing out the decision making process.

    So what's the solution? While there are many approaches, the marketing team at Barclays, an ISBA member, have created a simple checklist to provide the information required from your tech vendors. In fact, the document is so straightforward that it benefits both advertisers and tech vendors by reducing the review and sign up process.

    The document itself was designed to make the onboarding process more practical, with the brief being to employ the most innovative tech solutions, while minimising business risk.

    Working closely with their colleagues in legal, compliance, information policy, data privacy, risk, fraud and information security, the marketing team at Barclays have created a document that reflects the modern industry, ensuring all relevant questions were incorporated and reflecting current developments, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), with provisions for data protection also included in the brief.

    Barclays have made the document available to all ISBA members and as more and more organisations use this document, the bar will be raised within the industry. The longer term aim is to for martech vendors to provide accurate detail at a higher level as standard practice.

    Special thanks to Barclays for making this document available to ISBA members and other groups, especially Nicola Shepherd, Head of Media, and David Joyson, Head of Search & Acquisition.

    To obtain your free copy of the guidance, please contact Jodie Knight.

    I would love to receive your feedback on the guidance.

    David Ellison
    Marketing Services Manager, ISBA davide@isba.org.uk

  • 01 August 2017

    Understanding the facets of any consumer or media journey can unleash a host of insights and ultimately lead to serious business opportunities. Such is the case for programmatic advertising, which has become one of the key areas of investment for advertisers.

    As the programmatic landscape continues to evolve, ISBA has been working closely with our members and the industry to gain a clear picture of the journey involved, giving us a real insight into both the challenges and opportunities that programmatic presents, all of which were highlighted at our recent Roundtable event.

    Featuring insights from our event partners and programmatic experts The Exchange Lab, plus Nationwide's Director of Digital Marketing and Social Media, Alex Bennett, the three hour event was packed with practical learnings for all stages of the programmatic journey.

    Some of the key insights to come from the session are outlined below and can be used to help guide you on your journey to programmatic excellence: 

    1. In-house Expertise: Ensure you have at least one programmatic expert on the team. Be it a marketer or data analyst, your in-house expert should champion the cause, get your colleagues involved, avoid silos and most importantly, get that much needed buy in from the C-Suite. Don’t expect a quick win however. To get C-Suite on side, clearly articulate the commercial benefits and be prepared to tackle internal discussions that will bring about long term changes that establish strategy. 
    2. Vendor Selection: When it comes to choosing the right vendor, don’t be afraid to trial before you buy. Talk to and test as many possible partners as possible and be sure to ask questions and outline any requirements relevant to your organisation, KPIs and long-term goals. Note that vendor performance can vary by location, success in one market does not guarantee success in others.
    3. Owning your data: It has never been more important to know how your data is being used and what happens to it. Outline your data priorities from the get-go and be sure to ask vendors what happens to your first party data at the end of the relationship. Ensure that you have logins to their systems to discover where your ads are being served and make sure you have the right contractual terms in place to allow for this to happen.
    4. Creative Strategy: A weakness with programmatic is creative strategy. Merging dynamic creative with segments is still proving to be a challenge. Using sequential messages will make your communication more relevant. Massive disruption within creative is anticipated, with the younger creative shops leading the charge in trying to sync and integrate with programmatic.
    5. Get the whole team on your side: Your programmatic strategy needs to be understood by all areas of the business. Be sure to bring together different teams internally to be clear on how it will impact the organisation and ensure a consistent joined-up approach across different customer touch points/channels. As procurement teams become more and more involved in media buying, they need to be involved early on to ensure they are aware of the real value of programmatic, rather than just analysing the price.
    6. Programmatic as a Branding Tool: Although traditionally focused on direct response, advertisers are now turning to programmatic to build their brands. However, issues surrounding measurement and value could potentially hinder obtaining the necessary budget.
    7. The Targeting Trap: Programmatic advertising allows you to target down to micro-levels, but this may not necessarily be a wise approach. Try to avoid hyper-targeting and think about moving to a more ‘coincidental’ approach, which should make your consumers feel less like they are under surveillance!
    8. To in-house or not? Making the move from in-house expert to full on in-house programmatic capability is certainly an option. When thinking about whether to fully embrace in-house, think about your overall goals, your strategy and how to ensure that in-house staff are constantly motivated and have access to the latest developments to avoid stagnation. In-house comes in many forms (partial or complete) and there is no 'one size fits all' approach. There are many challenges including budget, knowledge, capability and the ability to hire and retain talent.
    9. Viewability: is 100% viewability a reality? Is it even required? Be clear on your KPIs and set a realistic interpretation of how viewability is to align with them and set your trading terms accordingly. Be sure to discuss what impact your expectations will have on costs. Viewability is an important metric but reviewing it in isolation is a false economy and can lead to you optimising away from your goals.
    10. Consent: No discussion these days is complete without referencing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Tedious? Perhaps. Vital? Most certainly. The impending regulation must inform your discussions, particularly when it comes to gaining consent. Failure to do so could not only result in hefty fines, but could ultimately result in the loss of some of your customers.
    With all of that in mind, don’t expect overnight success using programmatic. Have a realistic picture of success and remember to test, learn and refine! Implement regular milestones to evaluate success across the various steps of your programmatic journey.


    For more information on how The Exchange Lab can assist you and help deliver your programmatic strategy, please visit their website


    If you have any concerns or questions at any stage, ISBA is happy to discuss the realities of programmatic advertising with you and the team, so do get in touch with me


    David Ellison

    Marketing Services Manager, ISBA
  • 11 July 2017

    Although the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) continues to dominate most of the headlines, the impending EU regulation on ePrivacy (ePR) deserves just as much attention given the impact it will have on the industry. 

    Replacing an earlier directive (implemented in 2002), the Regulation aims to:

    • Ensure privacy across all electronic communications platforms
    • Introduce simpler rules on cookies 
    • Increase transparency on direct marketing. 

    ISBA is actively working with the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) ePrivacy Task Force to ensure that the industry is fully briefed and aligned with the position we have outlined with the WFA, one that works to protect advertisers’ rights online, including the collection of browsing data used for targeting online advertising.

    Key issues for advertisers: 



    Over the last five years ISBA has been working with the ICO and our members on events and guidance to ensure compliance with the GDPR, due to be implemented in May 2018. ISBA believes that user testing is required to define how, where and when consent should be gathered to give consumers transparency, choice and control over their personal data.

    Acknowledging the need for the Regulation to develop principles on consent, the new laws need to incorporate new technology and be future-proofed to ensure that they are relevant in a few years’ time. The best methods to ask for consent will vary depending on the context – prescriptive regulation can’t allow for this. ePR is currently too prescriptive, as it mandates:

    How consent should be gathered - via software settings
    • When consent should be gathered - during installation

    Currently, there is no robust evidence available to confirm that this is an effective way of informing users about their privacy and enabling them to make an objective decision. Research from KPMG shows that only 26% of UK users read the privacy policy when entering a website.

    ISBA believes that advertisers are best placed to determine the most effective methods to gain consent from users, within the rules confirmed by GDPR. There are a number of ways to achieve this, including: 

    • Working with experts in user experience (UX), web design, e-commerce analysis and online behaviour
    • Methods for gathering consent must be tested on users in real-life situations to avoid consent becoming a ‘tick-box’ exercise, with users having little or no understanding of what they are actually consenting to.


      ISBA is requesting that these prescriptive requirements should be removed on browsers and other types of software to obtain consent during installation.

    ISBA wants to replace language which determines how, where and when consent should be obtained with a principle-based approach.



      Website analytics provide basic tools for website owners to understand whether or not their websites are performing effectively. Such information is needed to both ensure the website functions properly and enable owners to improve and enhance features for users. 

    Companies may outsource the technical elements of this analysis and tracking to third party companies with technical expertise. For ISBA members, this often means agencies or other third party companies. The current wording of the ePR could prohibit website owners from engaging agencies and other third parties to undertake this work on their behalf.  


      ISBA will work with the WFA to press for the ePR to allow website owners to employ agencies and other third parties to carry out necessary analysis to ensure their sites run efficiently. 


      ISBA members, and the industry at large, have invested heavily to ensure compliance with the GDPR. Specifically, members are currently reviewing all of their data processing activities to determine which legal bases to apply in different situations. GDPR offers six legal bases for data processing, some of which require a detailed legal and risk-based analysis in order to determine which ones can be used. 

    This is an ongoing work-stream, which in many cases involves employing internal and external resources to assess internal data management structures. However, the draft proposal of the ePR only makes one of these legal bases available to companies: consent. Therefore companies may need to restart the process of assessing and applying the relevant legal bases to their data processing activities once an agreement is reached in the final ePR text. This could put the work being undertaken by ISBA members to prepare for GDPR at risk. Members could be left with only a couple of months to re-assess their data processing activities in order to ensure compliance. 


      ePR must be consistent with GDPR. ISBA recommends maintaining the same legal bases which appear within GDPR in ePR. 


    Although discussions regarding cookies being used for internet based advertising have dominated issues within ePR, our members are concerned that this could have unintentional consequences on other types of tracking which allow their websites to operate effectively and provide the kind of experience users’ demand.


      ePR should incorporate a broad spectrum of applicable cases for tracking, which may present different levels of risk to users’ fundamental rights. This risk-based approach is a basic component of GDPR and therefore needs to be applied to ePR. 


      ISBA supports the objective of enabling users to have transparency, choice and control over how information about them is used. ISBA believes that the notion of ‘value exchange’ goes with the definition of consent in GDPR - ‘freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous’. The majority of people would prefer to use free services in exchange for seeing ads. Users should be made aware of this value exchange.


      ISBA would like to maintain the choice-based approach of the European Commission’s proposal. We believe that users should be able to make an active, informed choice about the collection of information stored on their devices.

    ISBA rejects moves to remove the need for users to make active decisions about the collection of their information.

    Next Steps:

    ISBA’s work in this area is being led by our Data Action Group. Our next meeting, taking place on 27 July will feature Catherine Armitage, Senior Manager, Public Affairs and Digital Governance Exchange at the WFA. Catherine leads their lobbying in Brussels and will provide an update for members on the latest developments and insights on the ePrivacy Regulation.

    If you are interested in becoming a member of this group and contributing to our thinking in this important area, please contact me.

    It is anticipated that the ePR might become law by 25 May 2018, when the GDPR will also become law. Find out more about the ePR here


    You may also be interested to know that guidance has been published on how and when marketers can engage with audiences using Legitimate Interest as a basis under the GDPR. The guidance has been produced by the Data Protection Network with the support of ISBA and our members and is available here


    David Ellison
    Marketing Services Manager, ISBA


  • 29 June 2017

    Recent studies have shown that young people are now spending more and more of their time online, rather than watching TV. While the desire for internet access has more than surpassed the need to look for the remote, the shift in platform preferences needed to be addressed from a regulatory point of view. 

    While existing BCAP codes governed how HFSS products were advertised on TV, they did not translate to the digital environment.

    All that is to change however, as on 01 July, the CAP Code on advertising food and soft drinks to children will be brought into line with existing rules on TV advertising. This now means that ads that ‘directly or indirectly promote an HFSS product cannot appear in children’s media’, be it print, cinema, or digital – and that includes social media and advergames. 

    As on TV, advertisements for HFSS products can no longer appear on children's media and cannot rely on licensed characters or celebrities popular with children to promote them, regardless of the platform used. 

    While generally welcomed by the industry, the ‘tough’ new rules do present a challenge for advertisers and as the Code comes into effect, here are some useful tools to help ensure you comply: 


    • Review ISBA’s teach-in session with CAP: watch as representatives from CAP outline the key aspects of the Code and the impacts for advertisers. Watch online here > 
    • HFSS products are classified using the Department of Health Nutrient Profiling Guide. To review the NP score for your product, and whether it is classified as HFSS, download the model.
    • ‘Children’s Media’: the new CAP Code states that in media where children account for more than 25% of the audience, ads for HFSS products are not permitted. A number of measures can be taken to ensure compliance, including data and analytics and where such insight is not available, other factors will be assessed. Find out more here >
    • CAP Resources: take advantage of CAP resources such as the Copy Advice Team, which provides free advice, to help identify any issues with concepts, imagery and/or copy. Find out more here >. A newly launched eLearning module is also available to provide insights on the key rules that apply to non-broadcast ads. Find out more here >
    • Further information relating to brand advertising and promotions can be found on the CAP website.
    • Review the CAP & BCAP Codes: links to the Codes, including a summary of the key aspects of the new non-broadcast rules can be found on the ISBA website


    As the advertisers’ representative on CAP, ISBA had significant input into the direction of the new rules, taking the concerns and needs of our members into account.

    We fully support the new rules, designed as a means to protect children and ensure that 'advertising regulation plays its part in tackling the public health challenges related to poor childhood diet and responds effectively to fundamental changes in the way children consumer media.' We will continue to ensure the needs and concerns of our members are met in all future developments.

    Key elements of the code for advertisers: 

    • Ads that directly or indirectly promote an HFSS product cannot appear in children’s media
    • Ads for HFSS products cannot appear in other media where children make up over 25% of the audience
    • Ads for HFSS products will not be allowed to use promotions, licensed characters and celebrities popular with children; advertisers may now use those techniques to better promote healthier options
    • The Department of Health nutrient profiling model will be used to classify which products are HFSS

  • 08 June 2017

    Have you ever wondered what keeps your marketing peers awake at night? How other organisations are approaching the marketing transformation that’s sweeping our industry? Or even how other CMOs are preparing for a future media ecosystem?

    ISBA sits in a privileged position, in a constant dialogue with and surveying the behaviours of the biggest brands in the country, this gives us a unique perspective on what’s exciting and worrying our marketers and enables us to track key trends and activities.

    This week we are thrilled to share some brand new insights from a tracking study, Media 2020 on which we partnered with MediaSense and IPSOS Connect. The study explores how ISBA members are organising themselves to meet the challenges of the rapidly evolving media ecosystem.

    With over 260 senior marketers and media decision makers taking part, the report is one of the most comprehensive surveys on marketing change management to date and builds on trends we identified in a similar study in 2015.

    The report indicates that ISBA members are a progressive bunch, leading the way in reconfiguring themselves into more data driven, customer centric businesses.

    All interviewees agreed that organising resources around customers also means owning customer strategy and customer data. Over three quarters of respondents (78%) rate data analytics and data insights as a critical media capability (vs. 67% in 2015) and over half (54%) see data management as an in-house capability (up from 42% in 2015). 

    Marketers told us they felt empowered by data, that it enables them to be more accountable and drives more authority for marketing at board level. For all, insight from data, not the data itself, was absolutely crucial to driving growth of their organisation and controlling that customer data, allowing greater visibility of the customer journey, was critical.  

    In-sourcing data management activities, data modelling and data activation is increasingly common amongst brands as they build their confidence. This is having an interesting effect on agency relationships, with over half the respondents in the survey claiming they would seek strategic advice on data management not from their agency partners but from their own internal teams, or as one senior marketer put it:

    “As a result of the new insight performance teams, we have taken back strategic control of our brands from agencies”

    And this charge to in-house activities is being led by the c-suite, over two-thirds (68%) of directors agreed that marketers will do more in-house.  Amongst more data- driven businesses there is an imperative to bring in new specialist talent with distinct skill sets, especially around data science.

    Marketing is broadening its scope and taking control with the emergence of new super integrated marketing teams including data scientists, marketing scientists, analysts and engineers working seamlessly together to drive growth.  Agile ways of working are breaking down organisational silos.

    Agility of operating models is now a prerequisite, both internally and externally, in order to achieve this data driven, customer centric nirvana. Key requirements of new operating models highlighted were flexibility, adaptability, scalability and iterative thinking over rigid process.

    Agency partners are now expected to present more flexible, varied and agile models, to experiment and change as their client needs evolve BUT many felt agency models were not evolving quickly enough and are hampered by legacy structures and processes.  And in a watch out for the agency community, 62% of respondents said they will be using fewer agencies in the future.

    In essence this study affirms that marketing will continue on its road to transformation, many are already on the data delivery superhighway, but many more are yet to progress.  There is only one certainty in this current environment and that is that more change is to come,  a fact echoed by the 80% of respondents who indicated that further organisational change is required if they are going to develop and deliver dynamic creative.

    Get your copy of the full report

    Media 2020 is rich in insight and I have only touched on a tiny part of what we discovered here, for further insights you can request a copy of the report from me.  


    Debbie Morrison
    Director of Consultancy & Best Practice, ISBA


  • 30 May 2017
    Last week the EU Culture Ministers adopted a General Approach on the revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) despite opposition from the UK, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Finland, Denmark and Luxembourg delegations. The decision paves the way for ‘trilogue’ negotiations between the Council, the European Parliament and European Commission on the directive which sets out the basic rules for the European audiovisual sector, including for TV and video-on-demand advertising and alcohol and food advertising, as well as advertising to children and self-regulation.

    Main areas of the Council's position which advertisers should be aware of include:
    • Maintenance of the current regime allowing sponsorship of all programmes, with the exception of news and current affairs programmes.


    • Increased flexibility on quantitative limitations with the 20% per hour rule changing to 20% per 24 hours. Member States are free to determine an additional “prime time window” not exceeding four consecutive hours, during which broadcasters may only allocate 20% of their airtime to advertising, in order to avoid having all the advertising placed during prime time.


    • Consolidation of country-of-origin principle, with jurisdiction rules and co-operation procedures strengthened to deal with problems whereby providers are established in one country but targeting an audience in another.


    • Extension of the scope of application of the rules governing advertising, sponsorship and product placement to video-sharing platforms.


    • Maintenance of current support for self- and co-regulatory codes for the advertising of HFSS food and beverages in children’s programmes, as well as for alcohol advertising. However, it is proposed that national authorities monitor and evaluate the codes of conduct, as well as apply sanctions to self-regulatory authorities.


    • Maintenance of the current definition of children’s programmes for food and beverage advertising as “children’s programmes”, whereas for sponsorship and product placement the definition will be changed to “children’s programmes and content primarily aimed at children”.


    • Extension of product placement from children’s programmes to “content aimed primarily at children” and to user-generated content and video sharing platforms.
    Next steps: The final text agreed last week will be publicly available in the next few weeks. ‘Trilogue’ meetings with the Council are expected to start before the summer recess. The delegations which opposed the adoption of the text will table a statement which will be released together with the minutes of the meeting.

    ISBA actions: ISBA will work with the WFA to carry out an in-depth analysis and assess the implication of the position once the consolidated text is available. Working with the WFA we will continue to engage with key players involved in the ‘trilogues’ and will keep members updated of important developments.

    Find out more about the AVMSD here

  • 22 May 2017

    With greater focus on extremist material, fake news and brand advertising appearing next to unsavoury content, brand safety has again been thrust fully into the limelight. The immediacy of social media makes it far easier for people to spot and share “campaigns that have gone wrong,” resulting in brand safety now being brought to the attention of the masses. What was once a problem discussed solely amongst the digital advertising industry, now has become national front-page news.

    When people explain brand safety, they typically use an example of how things go wrong in a display campaign. One classic given example is that an ad for a family-focused brand appears on a website with adult content. Another commonly quoted example is that an ad for an airline runs beside a news article about a plane crash.

    Careless insertion of an ad could start a public relations firestorm and ultimately damage a brand’s image and reputation. These examples are vivid and easy to understand, but they can make brand safety sound simpler than it is. First of all, a major brand safety misconception must be addressed by brands.

    The top misconception around brand safety that we hear is that brand safety is just about setting up a list of blocked domains and this ensures your brand’s online safety.

    This is one approach to enforcing brand safety -  simply draw up a list of websites and mobile apps that you know will have content that your brand will deem inappropriate and then avoid buying impressions from any properties on that list. While this approach has some merit, it also has several serious drawbacks:

    Lack of precision: If you block an entire domain because some of its pages are unsavoury, you lose out on the scale you could achieve with other, high-quality pages in that same domain.
    Continual manual update: A blocked list has to be constantly expanded as new properties are being created every day.
    Domain spoofing: Bad actors know their website is on your list and will fraudulently sell it under a name you trust instead.

    With fake news and extremist sites dominating the headlines, protecting your brand is more important than ever. Verification providers are able to help protect your campaigns from unsafe environments in the planning stage, as well as during the campaign.

    Here are 5 tips to protect your brand online:

    • Page-level. Domain-level protection is not enough. Different web pages on a website have different content topics, with different levels of risk. Make sure you’re getting page-level protection for true coverage.
    • It’s not binary . Don’t rely on just one or two methods to protect your brand. Use a combination of blocked and acceptable domains,  keywords, and page-level analysis for a fully comprehensive solution.
    • Don’t just set it and forget it. Make sure your  blocked and keyword lists are up to date – and review them on a regular basis. As new scandals, international crises, and other brand concerns crop up, you’ll likely want to add new keywords to your list.
    • Programmatic performance enhancer. Leverage predictive targeting in demand-side platforms (DSPs) to ensure your ads appear on safe environments. With predictive targeting segments, you can target away from risky content; only paying or bidding on impressions that meet your brand safety requirements.
    • Blocking. To ensure more complete protection from risky content, add the ability to block impressions to your brand safety solution. This will ensure your ads are prevented¬≠ from serving near risky content. Remember, you’ll need to use third-party creative ad servers to block in real-time.

    Brand safety isn’t a new problem, we have been building effective solutions since 2009, but new threats can appear unexpectedly. Now that the industry has refocused its gaze on brand safety, what’s next for this topic? Now that brands, agencies and the wider general public are aware of the extent of brand risk within our industry, hopefully the industry can come together to address the challenge and provide effective solutions.

  • 24 January 2017

    Brands are coming under ever greater pressure to prove that their budgets are being spent efficiently and that their campaigns reach their target consumer.

  • 02 December 2016


    Speaking at last month’s JICWEBS (Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards) Townhall event, Alex Tait, UK & Ireland Media Director at Unilever, said the industry needs a collective change in behaviours and mind-set. Accepting that trade bodies can’t solve problems such as viewability and ad fraud on their own, Tait also called for leadership from the whole industry – primarily advertisers, agencies and media owners. 

    Unilever, together with Shell, Santander, Nationwide and Google, have been working with their industry partners on the JICWEBS Cross-Industry Anti-Fraud Working Group to reduce the risk to exposure to Ad Fraud. 
    Tait feels that it’s becoming more difficult to get consensus as fragmentation generates more media players, claiming that it’s hard to drive change in an organisation, even harder in a whole ecosystem. He added that ‘burning platforms’ such as ad verification and ad blocking has made it even more important to restore trust and confidence in Digital.
    The good news is that members of ISBA’s Digital Action Group identified Ad Viewability, Ad Fraud and Online Brand Safety as being the biggest priorities for digital this year – issues being tackled by JICWEBS. Tait, who used to chair the Group’s meetings, believes that ad verification will remain a priority for advertisers next year. 
    Tait also called for advertisers to deepen their engagement with publishers. Acknowledging that the JICWEBS standard on Viewability for display ads is a good starting point, he feels that advertisers need to implement change on Viewability themselves, setting the bar higher and establishing their own standards.
    To conclude, Tait stressed that advertisers need to help fix the basics first, allowing Digital to trade on a like for like basis with other media.
    Members can get involved by:

    • Joining ISBA’s Digital Action Group. Contact David Ellison for details
    • Joining JICWEBS Cross-Industry Anti-Fraud Working Group. Contact David Ellison
    • Attending ISBA’s free, members only events in 2017, including one on Ad Fraud
    David Ellison