AMAA Trust Report: Transparency Is Still Media’s Biggest Issue

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The Audited Media Association of Australia (AMAA) has released its latest third-party annual research on trust in digital ad trading.

Most strikingly, the report found the biggest issue in media remains to be and transparency and distrust.

The industry buzzword ‘transparency’ came through strongly in response to the question of what was the single most important issue to be improved in digital advertising trading.

Analysis revealed that it appeared in 40 per cent of all responses across a range of areas.

The study confirmed that marketer confidence in the industry’s handling of the issue of transparency hadn’t improved from the previous year, with 75 per cent of marketers agreeing that poor industry transparency will lead to more marketers taking their media buying in-house.

The impact of more robust self-governance, with trading partners being certified for best practice, was seen as having potential to deliver positive outcomes with 70 per cent agreeing it would increase trust, 55 per cent agreeing that it meant less risk for marketers and 50 per cent that it would result in better advertising performance.

Certification of trading partners, by an industry body, was also indicated as having the potential flow-on benefit of reducing the reliance of external commercial auditing firms to provide the oversight that marketers inevitably feel is required.

According to the report, six in 10 industry professionals indicated they have experienced a negative digital marketing event – including misreporting of metrics, brand safety compromises and ad fraud.

Of those impacted, 70 per cent of marketers said it results in wasted ad dollars.

Meaning for every marketer satisfied there are four that are dissatisfied with how the most important digital trading issues are being addressed by the industry.

Only 12 per cent rated their trust in the digital advertising trading ecosystem as high.

The study presents a three-year trend analysis for the top five digital trading issues that the industry needs to tackle in the next 12 months, showing a heightened awareness of digital ad fraud – the combined result for ad fraud and non-human traffic being 73 per cent of respondents (up from a combined 58 per cent in 2016).

Social Media was the channel that rated highest in terms of needing oversight for best practice.

Programmatic ad trading is still high on the radar of media agencies, with significantly more agency professionals than marketers, seeing it as the area most in need of greater oversight to ensure best practice is adopted.

Speaking on the results, AMAA CEO Josanne Ryan said: “Each year with this pulse of industry trust in the digital trading ecosystem, we see the concern over issues increasing.

“This year, 60 per cent of industry respondents reported experiencing digital marketing issues with the majority of these wasting marketers’ funds. In terms of what is holding us back, from more robust self-regulation to address the issues, marketers indicated the top two reasons are lack of awareness and complacency.

“ The AMAA continues to advocate for the industry to move forward on cohesive frameworks to engender consistent accountability and transparency in digital ad trading,” Ryan added.

Check out the five key insights from the report below:

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