May 01, 2021

The ANA announced it is launching a comprehensive study of the programmatic media buying ecosystem, which it described as “riddled with material issues including thin transparency, fractured accountability, and mind-numbing complexity.”

The first step of the probe was an RFP issued by the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) seeking the services of a consultant to conduct the study.

The RFP indicated that for 2021, worldwide programmatic advertising spending is on track to exceed US$200 billion, and digital media now accounts for 56 percent of all global advertising spending. However, it also said that only 40 to 60 percent of digital dollars invested by advertisers find their way to publishers.

“Marketers do not have a fully transparent line of sight into their programmatic supply chains,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “The lack of full transparency for ad delivery and ad quality is diminishing marketers’ ability to fully optimize investments and drive greater business growth. We believe this lack of transparency is costing advertisers billions of dollars in waste.”

The ANA’s initiative is supported by the ISBA (Incorporated Society of British Advertisers) and the WFA (World Federation of Advertisers).

The RFP cited ANA’s goals for the study:

  •     Drive business and brand growth through the elimination of wasteful and unproductive spending.
  •     Make the digital media supply chain understandable, highly transparent, and analytically rich.
  •     Institute corrective solutions and industry standards that have long-term sustainability.
  •     Determine whether industry oversight bodies are needed to ensure the integrity of the programmatic ecosystem.
  •     Improve marketers’ decision-making.

The objectives and deliverables of this study are to provide the first full analysis of the programmatic marketplace and to develop remedies to the issues currently plaguing the supply chain.

In comparison to previous studies, this undertaking will be to expand the size and scope of the study from advertiser-to-publisher to advertiser to-consumer, and from the Open Web only to all programmatic trading platforms.

The RFP submissions will be due by early June, and a shortlist of candidates will later be invited to make formal presentations. A winner will be selected over the summer when fieldwork on the study will commence.

The RFP is available at https://www.ana.net/programmaticRFP

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