Digital advertising may be plagued with issues like fraud, brand safety and viewability, but some agency execs say a new crop of tech companies are increasingly trying to capitalize on those problems and solve problems that don’t exist.
During an Advertising Week panel on Thursday, MDC Media Partners and Assembly CEO Martin Cass spoke with execs from ad-tech firms OpenX and AdRoll about challenges in digital transparency and how they affect the agency-client relationship. Over the past year, a number of ad verification and brand-safety software companies have seen an uptick in business from marketers concerned about where their ads are running and how well they are performing.
“We must have come through our doors two or three new solutions a week for a problem that we didn’t know we had and then you discover it really isn’t much of a problem,” Cass said. “There’s an enormous lack of trust because maybe three or four years ago, clients were starting to say, ‘There’s something going on. I don’t know what it is.’ Now, they know what it is or they think they know what it is that is creating a larger degree of angst, and that angst is manifesting itself in clients’ enlargement of their fees.”
Take fraud for example. Hackers’ techniques are becoming increasingly complex and evolving to rip off advertisers, making it hard for agencies to keep up.
“What’s the next thing that a bunch of hacks are doing out there to create fraud in the market?” Cass said. “It always gets down to how big is it, because in the end, you want to be roughly right, not precisely wrong.”