Mark Pritchard on achieving "Transparency 2.0"

Posted by Jeremy Spitzberg • Jul 19, 2019 5:03:59 PM

When one of the leaders in the industry keeps hitting the same themes again and again, it's time to pay attention.

More than two years after giving a speech that roiled the digital advertising industry, Proctor & Gamble's Chief Brand Officer, Mark Pritchard continues to push for more transparency, and as a result, less waste in digital advertising.

In April, Variety reported on his speech to the Association of National Advertisers, in which he said:

“Waste continues to exist from lack of transparency and fraud. Seven out of 10 consumers say ads are annoying, and ad blocking is accelerating. Privacy breaches and consumer data misuse keeps occurring. Unacceptable content continues to be available and is still being viewed alongside our brands.”

Then again at last month's Cannes Lions Festival, he told MarketingWeek:

“There is still a lot of work to do on cleaning up the media supply chain,” he said. “A big part of that is that a lot of the platforms created in the digital world were created not necessarily for advertising. We, advertisers, help monetise that. And now we’re trying to retrofit that and that’s taking longer than I’d like.”
He does believe that things have changed “quite substantially” over the last two years and said the industry is now moving to what he calls “transparency 2.0”.
“That is auditing of brand safety and control over content quality, civility of editorial comments and cross-platform measurement to ensure we don’t have excess frequency of advertising. That’s the next generation,” Pritchard said.

He returned to this notion of "transparency 2.0" yet again in a follow-up interview with Forbes:

“What we kept finding was we were investing more and more and we were getting less and less. So we called for really just some basic standards around viewability, audience verification, anti-fraud and brand safety. Transparency 2.0 is now focused on creating a 'clean media supply chain.' We need to now get control over content. It's no longer okay to have horrific content on any platform. The platforms are doing a lot and I think we need to give them appropriate credit and encouragement to keep going–but they need to keep going. The other thing we need them to do is get some semblance of civility on editorial comments and to not allow a lot of our conversations to be hijacked, or for hate and other kinds of messages to get through. We also want to see common privacy standards so people know what they're getting when it comes to engaging and just common sense, simple standards. And then finally we want to ensure that we have cross-platform transparency so we're not annoying people and wasting money. So that's the next generation of transparency that we're calling for.

At the Brand Safety Institute, we are building a brand safety community that can take Pritchard's vision and make it reality. We are investing in the education and fellowship that will allow brands to know and navigate digital advertising, and ensure brand safety and return on investment. Check out our certification program if you're interested in becoming a Brand Safety Officer.

Topics: Brand Safety, Ad Fraud, Transparency