CMOs have overhauled digital strategy in last year amid brand safety worries

Marketing analyticsChief marketing officers (CMOs) at large UK brands have made major changes to their digital marketing strategy in the last 12 months amid concerns around brand safety, transparency, and fraud.

According to a survey of 100 UK CMOs and marketing VPs at companies with an annual turnover of at least £20m, conducted Censuswide on behalf of video advertising marketplace Teads, 95 per cent of CMOs have overhauled their digital strategy – with 44 per cent reviewing relationships with suppliers and 43 per cent reviewing agencies.

“2017 has been a wakeup call for the whole digital advertising industry and it’s encouraging to see senior leaders taking this seriously,” said Justin Taylor, UK managing director at Teads. “In order to get to the root of these issues we need to rally together as an industry to make sure transparency, brand safety and fraud-free environments are guaranteed at every level”

The research found that, in the last 12 months, 83 per cent of marketing heads have come more concerned about brand safety, and 77 per cent more anxious about ad fraud.

As a result, 93 per cent say that they will choose agencies or suppliers based on their ability to prove brand safety and transparency from now on. 36 per cent have already reduced, or stopped, spend on channels that can’t guarantee brand safety. 41 per cent are even considering taking ad buying in-house.

In addition, 43 per cent CMOs want assurances from publishers that they’re controlling risky content on their sites, with 36 per cent wanting agencies to address their questions on transparency and 34 per cent worried about how users may react to ads next to unsafe content.

To address their concerns, CMOs want to see tighter self-regulation and better industry-wide standards for fraud and brand safety, more focus on reporting quality ad places and environments drive by third-party measurement, and greater transparency from suppliers and agencies about where ads appear and how they define a successful ad.

“For brands and agencies, this means having transparency and verification on ad buys; if it’s not viewed, the advertiser shouldn’t pay,” said Taylor. “For consumers this means seeing non-intrusive, quality creative. For publishers, it’s having access to high-yield video inventory and global brand advertisers, with the right tools to prevent fraud.”