Shining a Light on Digital Transparency
As many of us know, Facebook has been in the news cycle over its data scandal and political ad transparency. Transparency in digital advertising is not a new issue. Since digital advertising began, transparency, fraud, and security have always been major concerns for everyone involved in ad buying, selling, placement, and usage. There are bad actors – we know this – but there is also an incredible volume of industry players who want to see a better digital ad space and strive for it everyday.
In his statement to Congress, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (as if he needs an introduction nowadays) claims Facebook is strenuously working toward a formal operation to combat fraud. Zuckerberg detailed that AI tools and a staff of 20,000 or more new Facebook employees will work everyday to review content, eliminate proven fraud, clearly label political advertisements through sponsor labels, confirm buyers’ identities and locations, and more. These policy changes hope to set a precedent of ad transparency on a platform that has more than one billion active users worldwide, according to the Facebook Newsroom.
Programmatic display and video advertising has also received its fair share of transparency scrutiny. Since programmatic has more players that have to opt-in than Facebook, it’s been a slower process. Like any new business or industry, programmatic has matured from a fledgling on the cutting edge of modern advertising technology to a revenue giant. Programmatic was bound to need process improvements and security enhancements along the way, like any other business. Programmatic media buyers are happy to announce magnificent strides in transparency, courtesy of industry influencers, like Proctor and Gamble, who have lobbied for a more secure, transparent industry benefiting everyone. From this wave of improvement, the programmatic industry has seen genius applications like Blockchain and White Ops that help protect everyone’s interest from detecting fraud and bots to verifying media buys.
Yes, it is truly a whole new era for programmatic, and a whole new era for media buying. Digital advertising has more work ahead of it, but it is not standing still. Improvements are made everyday to keep publishers selling verified content, buyers placing correct buys, and consumers seeing content that is not only aligned with their custom interests, but are also transparent advertisements.
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