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The Big Story: You Trust Me, Right?

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The complexity of digital advertising means it revolves around trust. At the same time, everyone has to make money.

That basic tension leads to some creative accounting – the sort that isn’t outwardly fraudulent but still falls into the “ask forgiveness, not permission” school of thought.

This week on “The Big Story,” the AdExchanger team looks at the state of trust in ad tech.

Late Tuesday, Facebook’s erroneous video viewing calculations from 2016 came back for another bite – with a lawsuit claiming that Facebook knew that the metrics were wrong for nearly two years before ’fessing up.

But trust was also a major theme at AdExchanger’s recently wrapped Programmatic I/O show. Oliver Maletz, Volkwagen’s media exec, launched into what’s now a familiar complaint: Marketers are still paying for nonviewable inventory.

And T-Mobile media veep Kari Marshall and Anheuser-Busch InBev global programmatic lead Richard Salazar chatted about bringing parts of their marketing strategy in-house – company decisions made in part to ensure accountability.

Complaining about untrustworthy partners has become commonplace, but these days marketers are doing something about it. Volkswagen’s Maletz and Brad Stamulis, Dish’s director of digital marketing, both pushed the industry to start using more accurate metrics.

For Maletz, that’s the viewable CPM, which includes the added cost of viewability. And Stamulis, also concerned with viewability, said Dish tries to buy based on what he calls the viewable adjusted cost per order – a metric that he feels should be immediately available in every DSP dashboard.

Meanwhile, exchanges have had their own trust issues lately, what with Index Exchange’s controversies around bid caching and favoring itself in its header bidding wrapper – with both incidents exhaustively reported by senior editor Sarah Sluis.


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But the sell side knows that lack of trust is bad for the whole industry, and so on Wednesday, six exchanges enlisted the Trustworthy Accountability Group to bring some trustworthy accountability back to ad land, so everyone can trade with confidence.

Tune in for the next 20 minutes to learn where the industry is and where it’s going. It’s a good one. Trust us.

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