Leading advertisers join World Federation of Advertisers to address digital ad issues

Some of the leading global advertisers including Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Mastercard, and Diageo have come together to join the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) to create an improved framework for an improved digital advertising ecosystem.
The WFA’s media charter has launched ‘Principles for Partnership’ that seek to address transparency, brand safety, advertising fraud and viewability.
The digital ad industries consist of many players including agencies, ad technology firms and media companies. The WFA guidelines aim to address them to help ensure future ad revenues.
Stephan Loerke, CEO of the WFA, explained:

“The digital ecosystem has grown so rapidly, it’s no wonder that it’s far from perfect. But the time for indulgence is over. The largest chunk of the world’s marketing budgets is now invested in digital platforms and advertisers have a right to demand that the money they invest can be clearly tracked and understood. It’s not just about knowing that budgets have been well spent. We also need to be reassured that brand and consumer interests are protected in these new platforms.”

Additionally, the principles to be implemented into the media value chain set out by the WFA include a zero tolerance toward ad fraud with compensation for a breach, strict brand safety protections, providing complete transparency, setting minimum viewability levels, third-party verification and measurement, removing ‘walled garden’ problems, improving data transparency standards and the customer experience.

“As the market continues to change quickly, global brands are being more tangible and specific about what we expect from the entire ecosystem; our tech partners, agency partners media owners and digital platforms,” said Ben Jankowski, SVP of media at Mastercard and co-chair of WFA Media Forum. “The WFA’s Global Media Charter is designed to ensure that everyone has the same common understanding of what we all need to do to thrive. Everyone should join us on this journey.”

Justin Taylor, UK MD at Teads commented:

“It comes as no surprise that the WFA and advertisers are calling for an industry reform into the digital ad ecosystem. Since the start of 2017, we’ve seen reams of evidence that it’s almost impossible to guarantee brand-safe environments around user-generated content​. On top of this, we’ve also witnessed businesses raising valid concerns around the definition of viewability, with some advertisers beginning to form their own standards.”

“Research we carried out found that CMOs at large brands in the UK have already made drastic changes to their digital marketing in response to the issues surrounding brand safety, transparency and fraud – with 44% reviewing relationships with suppliers and 43% reviewing agencies. WFA’s principles and framework come as a natural next step to the actions that companies across the digital ad landscape have already started taking. This will no doubt encourage the industry to band together and ensure that we have the best destinations for brands to advertise on as well as strong measurement and verification practices in place.”