Interactive Advertising Bureau
13 March 2020

Driving transparency across the digital advertising supply chain

If the digital advertising 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 critical.

As Matej Kolarosky, Head of GroupM Operations, comments: “for buy-side organisations in the advertising value chain, transparency has never been more important. Brands, agencies and buyers need to know that their ad spend will deliver results and help build the right relationship with customers. That means having complete visibility of fees and other key elements, such as how advertisers are refunded when cases of ad fraud come to light.

To help create such an advertising environment, IAB Europe’s Programmatic Trading Committee created the Supply Chain Transparency Guide. Now in its third 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 reviewed our stakeholder questions to ensure they are as granular and exact as possible. Where necessary, we have also introduced wholly new sets of stakeholder questions, such as for Buyers to SSPs in the areas of cost/fees and inventory source, for example. The Committee’s work ensures that the guide reflects the shape of the industry today and is as complete as possible. We believe this best practice guide will help create a transparent industry for all and help companies ensure compliance with relevant privacy and fraud rules.”

Alex Phillips, Product Strategy Lead - Authorized Buyers Programme at Google notes: “in a privacy focused world, it is important that users, publishers, and advertisers have transparency, choice and control in the programmatic supply chain and are confident that their data is secure."

The issues of quality and transparency are absolutely central to the work of IAB Europe in 2020 and beyond. Under the auspices of IAB Europe’s Brand Advertising Committee, which sets out to drive brand investment into digital, the organisation has established a new Quality & Transparency Task Force. The role of the Task Force is to mitigate quality and transparency concerns among the stakeholder community and to work with the industry to boost consumer trust and encourage continued brand investment.

With the advertising sector increasingly complex and competitive, the need for transparency has become more pressing. As Lisa Kalyuzhny, Senior Director Advertising Solutions at PubMatic, explains: “the digital advertising industry requires clarity over the many processes and interactions that underpin digital advertising to ensure, among other things, seamless and effective programmatic delivery. Automation and data-driven advertising thrives when data and processes are open to view, predictable and robust.”

For Ben Geach, Senior Director Global Product Strategy at Oracle Data Cloud, transparency delivers critical insights into audience data: “it’s never been more important for all stakeholders in the ad industry to be able to see clearly whether data has been verified as compliant with key privacy regulations such as GDPR and to be able to demonstrate which the mechanism through which data consent has been sourced. Without this transparency there’s no way for digital advertisers to do business in a compliance-assured manner.”

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

Access the Supply Chain Transparency Guide here.

Supply Chain Transparency Webinar

IAB Europe will be hosting a webinar to provide a deep dive into the guide and how it enables industry players to gain transparency in the key areas of data, cost and inventory source. Register here.

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