Advertising Platforms
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506 marketing leaders identify future challenges to online advertising: Global pandemic, Brexit and ‘walled gardens’

LiveRamp, the leading data connectivity platform, just launched its new report ‘The New Internet,’ sharing insights from senior advertising and marketing leaders about the challenges that the advertising industry needs to navigate in the coming year.  

The research, conducted by LiveRamp and YouGov, found that over a third (36%) of the 506 advertising leaders cited the effects of COVID-19 on the economy as a long-term threat facing the advertising industry in 2020. Other concerns were Brexit and the shifting regulatory landscape in the UK as a result of that (26%), as well as the advertising walled gardens (25%).

The report includes contributions from prominent industry leaders such as Advertising Week, The Guardian, the IABUK and Accenture.

These findings show that while the COVID-19 crisis is still the biggest concern, advertising executives also foresee the year ahead to be further complicated by a changing regulatory landscape caused by Brexit and the increasing dominance of the tech giants in the online advertising space. 

Over a third (35%) of senior British marketing leaders think greater transparency in the decisions made by world’s largest tech giants around online advertising on their platforms would improve the advertising industry, and a third (33%) think the ‘walled gardens’ agreeing to a list of principles that would make the industry fairer, and improve the industry.

Nick Hewat, Commercial Director, Guardian News & Media comments in the report that COVID-19 has not created new challenges but rather increased the strain from existing challenges. “For us, the problem is our inability to collect revenue, according to the size and quality of our audience. It isn’t just coronavirus that has done that – that has been an issue for years. And it’s just become more concentrated during the last few months.”

Further commenting on the influence of the tech giants Matt Scheckner, CEO, Advertising Week describes the clash of the regulators and tech giants as “an incredible confluence of things crashing together” saying “regulatory bodies traditionally have authority in their jurisdiction and technology companies don’t recognise those walls or jurisdictions.” 

The UK has one of the largest online advertising industries in the world, and in 2020 online advertising made up 62% of total advertising spend of £23.6 billion – a growth of 5% on the previous year. 

The report has been launched to gauge the sentiment of the industry and to draw together voices from leading brands, publishers and industry bodies to consider how to overcome the challenges, future proof the UK online advertising landscape and to ensure that the internet remains open and fair to all. 

Vihan Sharma, Managing Director Europe, LiveRamp shares, “The environment for online advertising is becoming increasingly complex. COVID-19 has put added pressure on the industry, with brands being compelled to reduce advertising spend, and publishers having to be more creative to entice buyers. 

“As we face big structural changes in the shape of tightened regulation and restrictions on third-party cookies and device-based IDs, we must use this as an opportunity to innovate the online advertising ecosystem, embracing the tools that will enable data collaboration and increase addressability and reach.”

The report is available to download here.