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Digital transparency, key challenge for brands in 2018 - Warc Toolkit

In its Toolkit for 2018, Warc concludes that digital transparency will be a key challenge for brands in the year ahead. The report is based on a survey of more than 600 marketing and advertising professionals around the world to obtain their outlook on the coming year. The findings are combined with the latest ideas, research and expert opinion from Warc.
Led by P&G, brands are putting pressure on the digital media ecosystem to reform and to embrace greater transparency. Issues include the billions of dollars being lost globally to ad fraud; the absence of industry-wide viewability standards; the shortage of impartial, third-party campaign measurement and verification; the rising use of ad-blocking software; and a lack of transparency in the media supply chain.

Entering a period of transition

David Tiltman, head of content, Warc,
David Tiltman, head of content at Warc.
comments: "2018 will be pivotal to the ongoing drive by brands, media owners and the ad tech industry to 'clean up' and address the challenges facing digital advertising – viewability, brand safety, measurement, transparency – as they reassert control over media contracts, investments and partnerships, to ensure they are maximising ROI."

Julia Connaughton, head of digital, the7stars, added: "With advertisers demanding increased transparency, and agencies and publishers united in a fight against ad fraud, we are entering a period of transition that will have a lasting impact on the future of our industry."

Key findings around digital transparency

  • Both agency (45%) and brand (49%) respondents cited viewability and accurate measurement as the number one industry issue offering cause for concern when drawing up marketing plans for the coming 12 months. 
  • 30% of respondents expect digital spend to be cut if these issues are not resolved.
  • 51% of brands believe there is now a crisis of trust between brands and media agencies.
The drive for digital transparency is one of five key challenges highlighted in Toolkit 2018, which also includes a guide to best practice, potential pitfalls and video interviews with industry leaders to help overcome the issues.

Warc will be holding a round-up discussion event on Toolkit 2018 in London on Wednesday, 10 January to examine an overview of marketing trends for 2018, the CX battleground, taking control of customer data and why voice is branding's new frontier. Register here for this free-to-attend event.

For more information and insights on Toolkit 2018, click here.
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Read more: P&G, David Tiltman, WARC