WFA demands that advertisers take actions that promote ‘a better marketing ecosystem’

The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) released on Thursday a Global Media Charter aimed at advertisers that will “create the conditions for a marketing ecosystem that works better for brands and consumers.”

The charter follows a data manifesto issued by the organization earlier this year.

Last year, programmatic advertising platforms were schooled both verbally and financially by brands, most notably by Procter & Gamble, which pulled millions of advertising dollars from YouTube because of brand safety concerns.

WFA worked with Procter & Gamble and companies such as Unilever, Mastercard and Diageo, as well as advertiser associations in the US, China, Japan, Germany and France, to produce the charter.

Principles for Partnership

The charter asks advertisers to adhere to the following “Eight Principles for Partnership”:

  1. Zero tolerance to ad fraud with compensation for any breach. Create a streamlined process to refund all media investments. Use accredited third-party verification solutions to assess ad fraud exposure.
  2. Strict brand safety protection. Require platforms and publishers to do due diligence and accept responsibility for their site content.
  3. Minimum viewability thresholds. Allow brands to trade against the appropriate viewability level for their business, despite the fact that higher viewability standards could impact inventory supply and campaign reach.
  4. Transparency throughout the supply-chain. Provide complete transparency, including pricing and trading, fees and costs, placement and data usage. Commit to relevant and fair levels of remuneration for services rendered.
  5. Third-party verification and measurement as a minimum requirement. Provide third-party verification that inventory is viewable, fraud-free, brand-safe and on-target.
  6. Removal of “walled garden” issues. Unbundle data and technology and allow advertisers to use the third-party buying platform of their choice. Work with publishers to create a solution that provides impression-level data that enables brands to track media spend in their category and competitive set.
  7. Improve data transparency standards. Commit to working with partners to ensure data is ethically and transparently sourced and securely stored with appropriate assurance mechanisms, including audits, as laid out in WFA’s data manifesto.
  8. Take steps to improve the consumer experience. Design commercial communication opportunities so that they are less intrusive and offer a better user experience.

“Data transparency for brands and consumers is going to be the single most important ingredient in creating a better digital marketing ecosystem for everybody — and the only way we are going to rebuild trust both across the online advertising ecosystem and ultimately with the people we serve, consumers,” WFA’s Chief Executive Officer Stephan Loerke told me via email.

About The Author

Robin Kurzer started her career as a daily newspaper reporter in Milford, Connecticut. She then made her mark on the advertising and marketing world in Chicago at agencies such as Tribal DDB and Razorfish, creating award-winning work for many major brands. For the past seven years, she’s worked as a freelance writer and communications professional across a variety of business sectors.