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ISBA and PWC put out “Programmatic Supply Chain Transparency Study” which looks at the £2 billion programmatic advertising supply chain.

Only 12% of 267 million ad impressions, paid for by brands to be served on publishers’ websites, could be accounted for or “matched”, according to the study. Nearly one in six of advertising pounds spend on “matched” ads are also being lost in the system.

The actual number of the unaccounted inventory could be much higher as the study only looked at premium advertisers. The mess in programmatic comes from the way it has evolved rather than being “Machiavellian”, Sam Tomlinson, partner at PWC said.

The report has recommended standardisation across contracts and technology to facilitate data sharing and ensure transparency. It has also suggested industry collaboration to investigate advertising pounds lost in the system.

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