Guest blog from Paul Wright, CEO, iotec

Transparency you can trust? It's time for us all to be accountable for the roles we play in the digital advertising ecosystem.

You can't help but escape the word 'transparency' these days when talking about buying and selling digital media. Indeed, 2017 was the year of transparency but the overuse and generalisation of the word has diluted its meaning and importance.

Now in 2018, particularly in light of the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal and other stories, everything that's been talked about needs to be put into practice. Advertisers want to be informed and educated about how the digital media supply chain works. In order to get that clarity, the chain must be transparent to determine where advertisers are getting value.

Why standards for ethics are critical

A worrying 45% of marketers we recently surveyedare unsure whether their adtech vendor is transparent/honest. That proves what we already know; that marketers' trust is waning fast with technology vendors. Given that 90% of marketers believe tech companies have an ethical responsibility, technology companies must demonstrate ethical behaviours.

81 % of marketers stated they are prepared to switch to a more ethical, honest adtech provider, but this change will only come if advertisers review the business they do with partners who don't provide full transparency and vote with their feet.

Marketers are no longer prepared to work with black boxes. But how do you know who you can trust? Transparency and ethics must become core business values in order to see change happen. Until transparency is rewarded, bad practices will continue.

We must stop marking our own homework

Third party verification is critical to understanding the value of the media you are buying. There are a number of accreditations where platforms can undergo self-verification, so you would expect them to pass with flying colours! What we need to insist on is real proof, from trusted third parties.

Proof is important to us at iotec. We recently launched a new product, in partnership with AD/FIN, to prove our transparency. It provides clients with unrestricted access to their proprietary transaction data - a process which can often be difficult, or even impossible, for advertisers. A recent report by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) reveals that more than 75% of advertisers are unable to access their log level transaction data for analysis or audit. iotec Sight will give our clients a truly transparent media buying experience - and set a new standard for trusted transparency in the industry, which we are proud to fly the flag for.

Consumers' awareness of their power in this world we live in is going to grow. The move for ethical change can only grow in momentum now. Since the Ethical Adtech Manifesto was launched, more and more companies and organisations have pledged their support. There's a growing feeling that things need to change and progressive companies and individuals are coming together to ensure change happens.

Find out more about iotec here >


1OnePoll survey conducted on behalf of iotec, February 2018

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Written 14th May 2018
By Paul Wright