ANA's Liodice Wants Solutions to Ad Fraud, Brand Safety, Viewability, and More

April 9, 2017

The last few years have been contentious times between advertisers and their agencies on a number of fronts in their day-to-day relationships. But as the CEO of the Association of National Advertisers gathers with his agency counterparts, Bob Liodice puts the onus on brand marketers to rein in the digital supply chain and “get back to fundamentals.”

Digital ad fraud, ad blocking, transparency, viewability and most recently brand safety—the latter owing to ads appearing unexpectedly alongside sketchy video content—are things that “confound and confuse us,” Liodice says in this interview with Beet.TV at the annual Transformation conference of the 4A’s, held this year in Los Angeles.

ANA President-CEO Bob Liodice

And that’s not counting the countless middlemen in the digital ecosphere that, by Liodice’s reckoning, garner upward of 60% of money spent in digital channels.

“And what has resulted within digital is that only 40 percent of our digital dollars are actually reaching the publisher,” Liodice says. “Now this is a god-awful number in my opinion. I’ve never seen such a high ratio of non-working media.”

The result is that marketers are prevented from fully taking advantage of their media investments to drive brand growth. “Brand marketers need to work hard and take the industry back. Get back to those fundamentals,” he adds.

On the bright side, he sees innovation seemingly “bubbling up out of everywhere” in the form of opportunities in OTT television, the Internet of things, artificial intelligence and neuro science and marketing. It all needs to be boiled down to an effective marketing solution.

“What we as marketers have to do is be able to find the mass of marketing and bring it down to a one-to-one level,” says Liodice. This means not just accepting new forms on blind faith “but essentially to think hard about what it is that’s going to work for their brand and get back to the point where one plus one does equal two.”

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