On 6th May, 2020, the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) released the “ISBA Programmatic Supply Chain Transparency Study”, an advertiser backed and funded audit and publication, with support of the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) and PwC. Here, Benoit Cacheux, Global Chief Digital Officer at Zenith Worldwide, comments on the study. 

The ISBA study is a critical piece analysing a complicated landscape – one that offers valuable opportunities to advertisers with addressable media and the ability to deliver personalisation.

Zenith’s extensive involvement in this study is a clear testament to our focus on transparency and helping our clients optimise programmatic in this complex landscape.  Zenith has always been at the forefront of transparency with the use of specialist services provided by Publicis Media, allowing us to better understand the supply path and optimise it to the benefits of our clients.

The ISBA study provides great insights into the difficulties faced by advertisers, agencies, publishers and the good players from ad tech and addresses the core issues around the distribution of advertisers’ spend. Spend is generally distributed between too many actors, with only half of all spend ending up with publishers. Additionally, a significant proportion of spend is not attributed, which reinforces the landscape’s murkiness, reporting inaccuracies, and inconsistencies of contracts.

We fully support the recommendations from ISBA around the standardisation and accuracy of reporting; better collaboration between stakeholders; development of better governance and standards to be enforced more actively; optimised investment strategies between PMPs and the open marketplace; and the diligence required in applying third-party verification.

The ISBA study plays a key role in applying pressure on the programmatic landscape to get rid of any actors or processes leading to media wastage. But it doesn’t stop here. The dominant players in this landscape have a key role to play in ensuring the programmatic supply path becomes fully transparent so advertisers have full confidence in the benefits of programmatic.


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