Last week, The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) issued a “statement of best practices” that strongly encourages marketers to demand networks take specific precautionary steps to ensure their ads do not appear on rogue sites.
This issue is one that Undertone clients simply do not come up against. Quite the opposite in fact: We’ve been promising quality placement of our clients’ ads for years, and in 2008 put our money where our mouth is with the introduction of our money-back guarantee (similar to what the ANA and 4A’s statement suggests, according to last week’s MediaPost article, “Marketers Want Ads Off ‘Rogue’ Sites”).
The MediaPost article also mentions the steps that some companies, like Group M, are taking to ensure their clients’ ads do not appear on rogue properties, including the maintenance of a blacklist of 2,000 sites. I can assure you this step can easily be deemed unnecessary if advertising partners are chosen based on responsible procurement and business processes.
We recognized and addressed the need for transparency with the introduction of our money-back guarantee and we adamantly agree with the ANA and 4A’s recent call to action for marketers. They should require more from their partners. Ad providers and networks should be guaranteeing against poor placements. And if they cannot make that promise to their clients then there is likely a bigger problem at hand…
Oftentimes, when asked why marketers and agencies choose to work with the vendors they do, I hear things like, “They’re larger so provide more reach.” I challenge that. Because scale is nothing without quality. Our Preferred Publisher Portfolio is carefully currated and hand-selected which means at the end of the day, we’re providing solutions to a multitude of problems with control, confidence and reach that marketers face, including the current one in question.
So, what do we think? Will marketers take the ANA and 4A’s advice? Will the industry’s second quality guarantee be introduced just four short years after Undertone’s?
We hope so.