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AdLedger, MadHive, Industry Index Outline the Complexity of AdTech

Study Shows Brands, Agencies and Publications Are Suffering from Vendor Overload, Point-Based Solutions Unable to Solve Underlying Industry Problems

The convoluted digital advertising supply chain has been under the microscope since P&G’s Marc Pritchard called on the industry to clean up its act, but according to marketers it hasn’t gotten any better. A recent study from research firm Industry Index commissioned by advertising standards consortium AdLedger and advanced TV solutions company MadHive found that brands, agencies and publishers feel it is the technology vendors’ responsibility to clean up the market. However, marketers see the ever-growing number of point-based solutions as unlikely to provide a solution to the largely systemic problem with the ecosystem, and as merely a mechanism to increase complexity and cost. The findings suggest that new standards, both technical and commercial, will be required that demonstrate both simplicity and transparency by design.

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“Problems like fraud, brand safety and transparency have been plaguing digital advertising for years, and as technology companies, it’s on us to solve these problems,” said Adam Helfgott, CEO at MadHive. “And the only way to solve these problems is by leveraging innovative technologies like cryptography, blockchain, and AI to develop holistic, cross-platform solutions that, for example, eliminate unnecessary third-parties by baking in verification capabilities.”

For the study, Industry Index executed a quantitative survey of 100 brand marketers, 100 marketers from digital agencies, and 100 digital publishers to research the pain points caused by the complexity of advertising technology. Additional findings from the report include:

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  • Marketers on average have 28 different technologies in their stack.

  • Expect to add roughly 8 new advertising and marketing technologies in the next year.

  • 70% believe they will have even more in three years.

  • The worst performing capabilities of the current solution stack are fraud control (32.07%), transparency (25.54%), brand safety (22.28%) and cross-screen targeting (20.11%).

  • Top technologies expected to add or replace in the next year AI-based tools (27.68%), DMP, third-party vendors and campaign management tools (24.11%).

  • 80% of respondents feel it is the technology vendor’s responsibility to clean up the problems and complexity of the ecosystem, but it is highly unlikely.

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“The underlying OpenRTB infrastructure was essential in the automation of digital advertising, but now we have cutting-edge technologies that can be used in conjunction with it to optimize the existing system,” said Christiana Cacciapuoti, Executive Director at AdLedger. “The only way to build a brighter future is by bringing together key industry stakeholders.”

AdLedger was originally founded by MadHive, TEGNA and IBM to unite the advertising industry, and develop standards for how next-generation technologies can be implemented to solve the current issues in the ecosystem. The non-profit research consortium includes members like Omnicom, Publicis, IPG’s Reprise Digital, WPP’s GroupM, The Hershey Company, Meredith, Hearst and 50 other key industry stakeholders, who are working together to lay the foundation for the future of advertising.

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