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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.
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