AANA, IAB & The MFA Agree On Steps To Improve Digital Advertising Transparency

AANA, IAB & The MFA Agree On Steps To Improve Digital Advertising Transparency
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The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA), Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Media Federation of Australia (MFA) today released the 2020 Australian Digital Advertising Practices, outlining an agreed set of digital working practices to support advertisers to make informed decisions and build confidence and trust in the digital advertising supply chain.

The Practices have been endorsed by the Boards of AANA, MFA and IAB, with the three industry bodies actively encouraging all advertisers to put them into practice and have conversations with their agencies, digital publishers and ad tech partners.

Developed by a cross-industry team of advertisers, media agencies, digital publishers, ad tech and subject matter experts, the Practices offer practical everyday guidance, checklists and links to specialist sources and build upon and update the first version which was published in July 2018.  They now also include market and regulatory updates, as well as additional information on consumer privacy.

Designed to be read in under an hour, but to be referenced often, the Australian Digital Advertising Practices seek to educate, encourage shared responsibility and enable trust and confidence in digital advertising.   They outline five guiding principles: champion the consumer experience; educate to inspire change; share ownership and responsibility; every value chain is unique; and fair value for outcomes delivered.

An education and training program is being developed to help marketers understand the Australian Digital Advertising Practices and learn how to put them into practice.  There will be a number of training options including e-learning, face to face and workshops that will explore the six key issues addressed in the Australian Digital Advertising Practices: digital value chain; viewability; ad fraud and rand safety; data governance; and consumer privacy.

The MFA Board has also committed to ensure all their relevant agency staff undertake the Australian Digital Advertising Practices training program and complete a proof of knowledge to ensure they are across the updated best practice standards.

According to John Broome (main photo), CEO of AANA, the second iteration of the Australia Digital Advertising Practices should give marketers confidence to better manage their digital campaigns.

“Programmatic advertising is now an established choice within most marketers’ media mix. Yet it’s a complex and ever evolving supply chain. A cross industry approach to best practices that also includes embedding them through training and advancing capability is a powerful way to build trust, confidence and better business outcomes for all,” said Broome.

Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia commented “Given the rapid pace of change the inclusion of the strong framework of agreed standards and practices for digital advertising is an important step in continuing to build trust and instilling confidence in the digital advertising value chain.”

Sophie Madden, CEO of MFA, said “For agencies, the Practices are a valuable tool in guiding conversations with clients, engendering greater trust and enabling them to work better together – which in turn should lead to improved effectiveness and better outcomes for clients. As an indicator of how important we consider the Practices to be, the MFA requires all relevant media agency staff to undertake training to ensure they’re across the updates.”

There will be future updates to the Practices to align them with any significant changes in the market.  The working group will also review any findings and recommendations that may come from the ACCC Digital Ad Tech Inquiry, which is scheduled to make its interim report in December 2020 and the final report in August 2021.

The Australian Digital Advertising Practices do not solve all issues and are not mandated solutions.  Rather they act as a starting point for advertisers, agencies and digital platforms to resolve how they will operate together.

Chris Graham, Head of Accountability and Sourcing at McDonald’s who was one of the first to adopt the original Practices in 2018, commented:  “The Australian Digital Advertising Practices has improved McDonald’s relationships with our agency, publishers and digital platforms by creating a shared responsibility towards digital best practice.  This enables us to remain at the forefront of the digital advertising landscape.”

Matt Rowley, Chair of IAB Australia and CEO of Pedestrian Group said “We are delighted to see the second iteration of these very valuable Practices.  They provide clear and usable guidance to help advertisers take better control of their advertising programs and their widespread adoption will help deliver fair value for all in the ecosystem.”

Martin Brown, Chair of AANA and Nestle’s director of e-business, strategy and marketing commented: “We need cross industry initiatives to drive transparency throughout the digital supply chain.  These collaborations will be enabled by a strong level of understanding and capability amongst marketers.  That is why there is a strong focus on training for marketing teams in this iteration of the ADAPs.”

Peter Horgan, Chair of MFA and CEO of OMD said: “Since their introduction, the Australian Digital Advertising Practices have been helpful in facilitating better conversations with clients about the digital ecosystem. This important update will ensure we remain at the forefront of technical, market and regulatory changes.”

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