Unilever CMO Keith Weed used his session at Cannes Lions to call on the industry to demand higher standards of measurement, and 100% viewability.
“I have real concerns about measurement. It’s critical, viewability and verification. Nielsen says that as much as 40% of digital ads are not being seen. Google says it’s nearer 50%,” he said.
Describing ads that are served below the fold that are not seen but advertisers are still charged for, or ads that appear cut off on the screen that are charged because they are counted as ‘in-view’ are a “complete waste of money he said.
“It's like having billboard ads underwater, it's a complete and utter waste of our money. I believe we should get what we pay for,” he told the audience.
From the advertisers eye we need to start defining what we want to see and also from the vendor’s side what they’re willing to engage with us on. We need to get standards for 100% viewability and get what we pay for. If we don't, this wonderful world of digital advertising will start undermining itself.”
He also raised the issue of fraud, claiming that it's between a $6 - $10 billion dollar problem.
“There are more bots on the internet than humans … so are you paying for the eyes of a bot or human eyes? Clearly we all want to pay for the eyes of a human, and we need real action as an industry to make sure we get standards that we all agree are right, to ensure that fraud is taken out of the way we buy digital advertising.”
Weed also talked about the erosion in trust in the industry, between industry partners such as agencies, and said that the only way to tackle fragmentation that is “pulling our brands apart”.
“I'm not surprised there is lack of trust because there is so much change and you have to have relationships to get trust. The industry is in chaos, in change, and that makes it more difficult to build trust but we have to have trust amongst players to truly integrate and bring the business back together again. [The model] when you had one agency who really managed the whole brand and how it connected with consumers needs to come back in some shape or form because the fragmentation is not just fragmentation of the industry, it’s fragmentation of our brands," he said.
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