I have some additional thoughts to share about Abbey Klaassen’s article today:
• Transparency does not equate quality nor does it solve the issue of where your ads appear. While it might seem like it does, many advertisers already had transparency from their network when they had a bad experience. The issue is not what a network says but what it does. That is why we came up with the Undertone $50k Guarantee to help raise the bar for accountability. Marketers still need to be very smart and make sure they trust their network partners and not just rely on a list of sites. Unfortunately, this tactic has backfired for many.
• As far as the Brand.net perspective, very few high quality publishers have abandoned networks. There are a handful of isolated cases where less than 5% of premium display inventory is unavailable to networks. While the publishers making up the 5% are a notable and well respected group, they have a minority point of view. I do agree that you must respect the direct selling model, and perhaps 100% transparency is one way to avoid conflict between publishers and networks.