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The first steps to overcome the viewability challenge and tackle fake news is with increased training and education.

With all online publishing companies dependent on their digital sales teams to drive revenue, ensuring that we reward and recognise that success is key to incentivising and retaining those key team members, Circus Street is proud to continue our sponsorship of the Digital Sales Team of the Year Award.

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What challenges do you see the industry facing over the next five years – and how should publishers, advertisers, and agencies be preparing for those?

 

 

Ad fraud is on the rise. Viewability has very few standards, the threat of ad blockers is growing, and there is a big trust gap when it comes to transparency and measurement. For publishers, advertisers and agencies these challenges will continue to present problems, especially considering the complicated and technical nature of Ad Tech.

 

Recently the industry accelerated its efforts to achieve greater transparency in the media buying supply chain, after Procter & Gamble CMO Marc Pritchard doubled down on digital media, shining a bright light deep into this impenetrable ecosystem. Real change will, however, follow only when the industry optimises against quality experiences and outcomes – not only to the benefit of the publisher, the brand, the agency, but, critically, the consumers we want to target.

 

 

How can the industry overcome the viewability challenge without compromising on creativity?

 

Global digital ad spending is expected to top $335 billion and represent over 46% of total media ad investment by 2020, so it’s no surprise that advertisers demand better effectiveness (source: eMarketer). So, the first question we must ask is whether we should be striving towards 100% viewability? The truth is, it never was intended to be the only metric for successful digital strategies. It makes better sense to reconsider how we approach issues around viewability and ad fraud; time we start educating ourselves better on the metrics that really matter, such as viewability vs. engagement.

 

Obviously, the stakes are high for publishers, as viewability measurements put a huge amount of revenue on the line. But because of the inconsistencies around measurement and forecasting, the system is at best in chaos.

 

It is time for a reset - time to reassess the situation and begin to ensure that we are not solely focused on cluttering pages with multiple attention-grabbing ads. If you don’t want to comprise on creativity, publishers and agencies will have to focus on user experience, and agencies need to be more realistic about the costs of delivering high quality creative.

 

 

Can we work together as an industry to put a big dent in fake news?

 

The starkest warning around fake news came from Tim Berners-Lee recently when, on the 28th anniversary of the invention of the World Wide Web, he named fake news as one of three key challenges to our future online.

 

While our industry did not create fake news, it falls upon us to come together to develop new ways to stamp out one of the biggest afflictions of the digital age. With billions of impressions bought and sold every month, it is impossible to keep track of where ads appear. From publishers demanding greater transparency into the sites included on the exchanges, to brands and agencies and publishers building stronger partnerships to ensure more control on their inventories, to agencies becoming adept at spotting fake sites, we have much work to do. Our first step needs to address the problem, with increased training and education.

 

 

Why do you feel supporting the AOP Digital Publishing Awards is important to you?

 

The rate of change that technology has provided us is so fast that identifying those who can exhibit creative and innovative thinking and deliver commercial success is key to any business. With all online publishing companies dependent on their digital sales teams to drive revenue, ensuring that we reward and recognise that success is key to incentivising and retaining those key team members which is why we are proud to continue our sponsorship of the Digital Sales Team of the Year Award.

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