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    Ad Spend Transparency and Traceability: A Mission (still to be made) Possible?

    In a world of growing programmatic advertising, notwithstanding the current COVID-19-related implications, transparency is becoming a key concern. This recent analysis outlines the importance of transparency defined as total visibility of the buying funnel, including ad placement, pricing and data, for an optimized ad spending and delivery. The key takeaways are nothing short of stunning:

    • According to a 2017 analysis by Warc, only 45% of total programmatic revenue reached publishers. A whopping 55%, infamously dubbed “tech tax,” was captured by the various players in the supply chain. 
    • Ad fraud costs the industry anywhere between $6.5 billion and $19 billion a year, according to eMarketer. 
    • In 2018, a study by Adobe found that 28% of website traffic could likely be attributed to bots and “nonhuman signals.”
    • As much as 15% of advertiser spend could not be traced – the so-called ‘unknown delta’ of unattributable costs ranging from 0% to 86%, with the majority from 2% to 23%as reported by a study conducted by ISBA and PwC in January-March 2020 to understand how advertiser spends were being attributed. 
    • The study shows that even in a ‘disclosed’ programmatic model, around one-third of supply chain costs remain undisclosed. 

    Although there are various tools available for publishers to detect and prevent ad fraud, collaboration between all parties will be required to identify and eliminate this wasted spend in order to foster an environment of accuracy and efficiency in revenue sharing. Keep following our Marketing Bites for further insights on the subject.