Interactive Advertising Bureau
04 March 2021

Creating Transparency in the Programmatic Supply Chain

It’s impossible to think of the programmatic supply chain without thinking of transparency. No matter which stakeholder group you are in, supply chain transparency is one of the biggest impediments to programmatic investment and one of the main issues that the digital advertising industry has to resolve. 

If the industry is to increase investment from the buy-side and to continue to benefit consumers through personal, timely, and relevant content, then maintaining transparency is essential.

To help establish such an advertising environment, IAB Europe’s Programmatic Trading Committee created the Supply Chain Transparency Guide. Now in its fourth iteration, the guide provides a mechanism by which industry players can gain transparency in the key areas of data, cost, and inventory source. Available in an interactive or PDF format, the guide lists the crucial questions stakeholders from each digital advertising category should ask at different stages of the supply chain.

David Goddard, Chair of IAB Europe’s Programmatic Trading Committee and Senior Business Development Director, EMEA at DoubleVerify, explains “for this latest edition of the guide, we have introduced a whole new set of questions in the area of audience data, for stakeholders to ask Identity Providers. As we transition into a post third-party cookie era, identifying ID solutions to test and work effectively with, as well as considering the case for contextual targeting, will become ever more important for all stakeholders, and ensuring transparency in this area is critical. The Committee’s work ensures that the guide reflects the state of the industry today, that it is as complete as possible, and that it paves the way for future programmatic investment. We believe this best practice guide will help create a transparent industry for all and will help drive the future of programmatic forward.”

Commenting on the additional questions for Identity Providers that have been added to the guide, Jamie Penkethman, Senior Director, Product Marketing, MediaMath said "A brand’s choice of first-party ID(s) generally sits at the intersection of regional availability, type of first-party data activated, and complementary data services related to the ID. The questions in this guide should lead brands toward the right partner(s).”

Combating stakeholder concerns around quality and transparency is vital to the work of IAB Europe in 2021 and beyond. This is why, under the guidance of the Brand Advertising Committee, we established a dedicated Quality and Transparency Task Force last year. The aim of the Task Force is to mitigate these apprehensions and address the challenges that the industry is facing in order to fuel consumer trust and brand investment in the digital advertising and marketing ecosystem. 

With the advertising sector increasingly complex and competitive, the need for transparency is now more pressing than ever before, and the collaborative work of these groups is essential to driving transparency across the digital advertising supply chain.

IAB Europe members can join any of the aforementioned groups  – Programmatic Trading Committee, Brand Advertising Committee, or Quality & Transparency Task Force. Please contact Lauren Wakefield (wakefield [at] to find out more.

Access the Supply Chain Transparency Guide here

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