UK marketers are calling on the adtech industry to adopt a code of ethics to tackle concerns over media buying transparency, amid claims that most brands are unaware of what they are buying or how much it really costs.
“Smoke and mirrors” claims have plagued the industry for years, although advertisers continue to plough billions of pounds into the online market; at the last count the sector was worth £165bn.
But a new report by Iotec, Ethical Adtech: Bringing Transparency and Accountability to Digital Marketing, is calling for a coordinated effort between clients, agencies, suppliers and media owners to resolve transparency and brand safety issues.
Leading brands Direct Line, Jaguar Land Rover, and TSB Bank took part in the report and Jaguar Land Rover general manager of global advertising Ian Armstrong said: “There can be a conflict between looking for the new and innovative, and taking a responsible attitude. The new thing won’t necessarily deliver better results than the tried and tested. You have to be cautious.”
It shows that the overwhelming majority (89%) of marketers want a standard code of ethics to be implemented, in order to enforce transparent practices with adtech vendors.
The manifesto sets out three core areas to address and rebalance the industry: transparency and fair trading, efficiency and effectiveness, and brand protection, security and privacy.