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Top Contributors to the Breakdown of Trust in the Ad Ecosystem

October 8, 2019

By Bill Duggan


Earlier this year the ANA launched the Trust Consortium in partnership with our outside counsel, Reed Smith LLC, to help address the issue of trust between marketers and the advertising ecosystem. The Trust Consortium consists of subject matter experts committed to working together to keep trust on the front burner, emphasizing transparency, integrity, and growth for the overall health and well-being of the industry.

To identify and better understand the future focus areas for the Trust Consortium, the ANA fielded a brief survey among its client-side marketer members, asking, "On a scale of 1 to 10, how do the issues below contribute to the breakdown of trust in the advertising ecosystem? 1= No Problem; 10 = Big Problem."

Our learning primarily consists of the "usual suspects" that continue to contribute to the breakdown of trust. Media rebates are at the top of the list, with 32 percent of respondents rating them as a 10 on the scale; in other words, it's a big problem. Right behind that are invalid traffic/fraud in digital advertising, data confidentiality issues, and agencies reselling media to clients with an undisclosed markup (such as rebates, a media transparency issue).

From the 18 options offered, the most concerning issues are below:


It is of interest that the top issues include topics that have been well-publicized in recent years. The fact that these are issues of great concern indicates that there is still work that needs to be done in these respective areas.

Results from this survey help provide direction on issues that the Trust Consortium should focus on going forward, including (but not necessarily be limited to) media transparency, invalid traffic/fraud in digital advertising, programmatic buying, and data.

The Trust Consortium will next meet on October 15 in New York City, hosted by Simulmedia.

This blog was originally posted on MediaVillage.

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