- Video marketplace Unruly has announced the creation of U7, a new brand and agency-powered council that will focus on the health of the industry and strive to clean up digital marketing.
- U7 is made up of 10 leading global advertisers, including Nestlé, Unilever, Diageo, Samsung, American Express, L’Oreal, GSK, The Wall Street Journal and Mars. Leaders from Wavemaker, Havas and Carat are also part of the council.
- The group's first meeting, "Hearts & Minds," will focus on the role of emotions and trust in the future of advertising. Unruly is also launching Programmatic Guaranteed, a new tool that allows buyers to access guaranteed buys across exclusive sites at a fixed price.
U7 is striving to open the dialogue between advertisers and adtech companies to help marketers better understand emerging technology. The council's formation comes as marketers are demanding stronger digital standards for addressing brand safety and transparency and amid ongoing scrutiny over the practices of digital platforms and agencies. The involvement of some of the top global advertisers should send a message to tech companies and others that these stakeholders are intent on cleaning up the digital ecosystem. Unliever, for example, has expressed its commitment to investing only in platforms that are working to create a better digital ecosystem.
Even though marketers are investing more in digital, many have expressed concern over digital media's lack of reliability. They also want more transparency into traffic, viewers and engagement and access to customer data. Inaccurate, questionable and false digital media have led 21% of marketers to cut back on their digital ad spend, a CMO Council survey revealed. Marketers have also questioned the Media Rating Council's viewability standards.
While more marketers are also embracing programmatic for its automation capabilities, a lack of transparency around programmatic has been an ongoing concern. Unruly's Programmatic Guaranteed solution could add more transparency and efficiency around programmatic ad buys.
Other industry-wide efforts are working to address transparency and accountability in digital marketing. Earlier this week at At Advertising Week 2018, a beta version of an industry standard Data Transparency Label was unveiled. Designed to look like a "nutritional label" and created by the ANA's Data Marketing & Analytics division, IAB Tech Lab, Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement and the Advertising Research Foundation, it aims to help marketers and agencies more responsibly leverage data and deliver more relevant messages to consumers.