Research reveals trust levels in media channels



The Audited Media Association of Australia (AMAA) today unveiled its first Media Channel Trust Report, showing marketers and agencies consider transparency and accountability as chief pain points in digital ad trading.

The report surveyed over 300 media industry professionals from both agency and client-side, identifying and comparing trust levels across media channels, audience data and campaign effectiveness. Responses from both agencies and marketers showed digital suffering from the largest trust deficit. Agencies outlined programmatic as needing more oversight while marketers indicated social media required additional industry attention.

Top areas of focus in the coming year for agencies and advertisers are proof-of-performance and cross media audience measurement. While there was alignment on some fronts, the most trusted media channels varied between agency-side and marketer-side.

Key Research Takeouts:

Media Channels

  • The report looked at media channel trust ratings across the three key metrics:
    • Channel data: Is the channel is safe, transparent and ads verified?
    • Audience data: Based on total reach, insights and behaviours.
    • ROI data: Is the impact is measurable?
    • Channel Data: TV and Print are most trusted, both agencies and marketers agree these channels are the most safe, transparent and verified for their brands.  Programmatic display rated low levels of trust. 
    • Audience Data: Digital Display is most trusted with agencies, while Online Video and Search are highest trusted for marketers.
    • ROI Data: Digital display again ranks highest for agency staff, while there was no clear favourite for marketers, leaving a broad middling field that included online video, programmatic and outdoor.

Areas of Focus

  • 66% of marketers indicated proof of performance is most important for the industry to address in the next twelve months, compared to 45% of agency staff.
  • 59% of agency staff see cross-media audience measurement as the second-most important area to be addressed, compared to 49% of marketers
  • Viewability is highlighted as the third most important issue, but agencies rate it as significantly more important than marketers – 52% vs 36%.

Building Trust

  • The report shows marketers and agencies agree that media agencies need to be the champions of media accountability and transparency.
  • There is broad alignment between advertisers and agencies on the role of industry bodies, with 9 out of 10 agreeing on the value of industry body collaboration to establish best-practice and verification guidelines.
  • 7 in 10 surveyed agree the digital ad trading ecosystem is not as transparency, accountable and trustworthy as it should be.

CEO of the AMAA, Josanne Ryan said, “After speaking with some of Australia’s top marketers and agency heads, it became clear that the pace of innovation and change is surpassing the rate at which trust is being established.

“The AMAA has a long history of serving as the media industry’s bellwether for transparency and accountability. We view this research as contributing to the industry conversation about how to further build trust between digital publishers, agencies and advertisers.”

Ryan says the research shows agencies and marketers acknowledge that there are lower levels of trust in digital, particularly when held against the independent verification found in print channels. “What we’ve found is while around 50% of advertisers and agencies who responded to our survey say digital is the focus of their daily work, they still view print as the channel delivering the most transparent and trusted environment. Dollars are moving from traditional channels to digital, despite the lower levels of trust in terms of being verified and safe. Agencies rate programmatic as one the lowest channels in this regard. Publishers of premium inventory have an opportunity to gain traction by taking the high ground and delivering safer environments.”

“Our research has found digital is the channel most in need of oversight and best-practice frameworks in order to build trust, with 91% of respondents agreeing they’d like to see collaboration between industry bodies to drive more transparent practices to build trust,” she continued.

“Additionally, the research shows agencies and advertisers see 3rd party verification by non-commercial entities like industry bodies as the most desirable action for building industry trust.”

“The AMAA’s role is to empower advertisers and partners to transact with trust and confidence. We view facilitating conversation and lobbying for collaboration to be an essential part of our industry contribution, and we look forward to sharing this research with the market in full,” she concludes.

Request a copy of the full report today

Date: 18 May 2016

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