While consumers’ trust in advertisers has been anything but high in recent years, trust between marketers and the advertising ecosystem is also a concern. Here are some of the top issues that have frayed the trust between marketers and advertisers, per a survey [download page, login required] by the ANA and Reed Smith.
Undisclosed rebates are a top concern for many of the 188 respondents. Among the issues contributing to a breakdown of trust, one-third (32%) cited media rebates to agencies that are not disclosed to clients as a “big problem” (a 10 on a 10-point scale), while a slightly similar proportion (29%) cited undisclosed rebates for digital ad data for targeting, measuring and verifying digital advertising as being a problem of that magnitude.
Although such practices continue to raise eyebrows, other recent research from ANA does show that the majority of agencies have updated their contracts in the past few years to address issues in billing transparency.
Meanwhile, three in 10 respondents say that invalid traffic and fraud in digital advertising is another issue that threatens trust in advertising. This is a persistent worry for advertisers, especially when it comes to automated media buying, where fraud in viewability and non-human traffic has ranked as one of the most negative aspects of buying ads programmatically.
While fraudulent digital advertising is a concern, so is the limitation on measurement available due to walled gardens (22%). Past data has found that advertisers find it a challenge to extract audience data from walled gardens such as Facebook, Google and Amazon, making it a barrier to building out and improving first-party data.
A report by Oath from last year found that the majority of advertisers were growing more concerned about ads appearing in brand-safe environments. This more recent survey shows that brand safety issues have been an outsized issue contributed to the breakdown of trust in advertising for more than one-fifth (22%) of respondents.
While that same Oath report found that about half of advertisers felt that social media was doing a good job in addressing advertiser’s concerns about brand safety, ANA’s data shows that certain aspects are still a concern. A full 20% of respondents feel that influencer fraud has contributed mightily to a lack of trust in advertisers.
Other research has shown that the issue of influencer fraud is on the minds of marketers, with many saying that fake followers and bots were their number one concern.
The survey results can be downloaded here.
About the Data: Results are based on a brief survey of 188 respondents conducted in August 2019.