Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Editor’s View: Heartening moves on diversity as CTV fraud rockets and IDFA dies

Each week, NDA Editor Justin Pearse will be casting his eye over some of the week’s more important industry stories.

Possibly one of the most heartening stories this week, for an industry regularly accused of lip service rather than real, effective action on diversity, was the news of Mediacom’s promise to focus its media planning to consider diverse audiences in an always-on manner.

In the story in Campaign,  Claire McAlpine, who is heading The agency’s “Inclusive Planning” initiative, explained that “This isn’t just something we will do in preparation for cultural events or religious celebrations, it will be embedded into the way we work across all briefs and integral to growth opportunities for our brands.”

This sort of move is an important step for embedding diversity and inclusion further into the planning process. Something, as our columnist Chris Kenna is at pains to stress, has a demonstrable return on the effectiveness of media for advertisers.

Look out for an exciting new initiative around diversity in our industry from NDA coming soon.

The agency/advertiser dance

The pandemic has of course only intensified advertisers’ desire to make those media budgets work harder.  As Seb Joseph discusses in a fascinating analysis, the ever-evolving agency-advertiser dynamic is experiencing its latest stress tests and the outcomes are far from assured.

As he points out, “Indeed, since that last glut of media reviews in 2018, agencies have tried to recast themselves to keep pace with marketers’ expectations. Now, those changes are being tested.” 

The changing agency model, a conversation the industry never tires of, is one of the topics we’ll be discussing with Nick Baughan, Director of Agencies, Facebook in next month’s NDA Top Five podcast.

One interesting aside in the always-insightful Seb Joseph’s piece is how the pandemic has “dampened the buzz around in-housing”.

However, as a story on Campaign highlights, a new report from World Federation of Advertisers found that  84% of brands are now using an in-house trading desk or hybrid model to manage their programmatic advertising.

The fraudsters’ next target

While in-housing, or not, remains high on marketers’ priority lists, connected TV advertising is set to dominate the industry next year, which makes DoubleVerify’s finding that fraud rates on the platform are up 161% even more important. In a handy summary of the report on The Drum, one striking stat is that EMEA was the only region that experienced an increase in the post-bid fraud rate.

With connected TV on its inevitable upward trajectory in consumer uptake, it’s equally inevitable that ad fraud, an endemic problem in online advertising, will increasing rear its head. 2021 is going to be a fascinating year for connected TV.

Finally, with seismic industry shifts expected from Apple’s policy changes around its ad ID the IDFA, a story on AdExchanger suggests the move may see advertisers shift marketing spend to a more reliable Android ecosystem.

It though hard to envisage the newly announced first US $2tn company losing too much of its grip on marketers’ wallets.