Brand Safety: What does it mean in a mobile-first world? Inside Mobile, London

On Thursday 27 July, we hosted our latest Inside Mobile event in London. Despite the torrential downpour one hour before kick-off, our guests braved the weather to hear all about what brand safety and ad fraud, two of this year’s most talked about issues, means in a mobile-first world.

Mobile has evolved to become the primary screen in our lives, dominating search, consumers’ time online, driving e-commerce and significantly, accounted for 99% of the growth in internet advertising last year. Driven by mobile, increases in digital advertising budgets will inevitably bring a greater focus on brand safety and ad fraud.

Our Head of Media EMEA, Alex Hewson, kicked off event proceedings, delivering a keynote address focussing on ad fraud. In basic terms, ad fraud is the deliberate practice of attempting to serve ads that have no potential to be viewed by a human user, that are intentionally misrepresented by publishers or adopting a strategy that aims to game the attribution model.

Online ad fraud is expected to cost advertisers $50bn by 2025. The cost of ad fraud (including both mobile and desktop) will rise from $7.2 billion now to at least $50 billion by 2025, according to a report by The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA). After delving into the statistics and data, Alex outlined that this is an issue that the industry cannot ignore and advocated that all bodies take a holistic, united approach to tackling the issue head on. If you would be interested to hear more from Alex on this then don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Our next keynote address came from Nic Cumisky, UK Mobile Lead at Google. In his presentation, Nic outlined Google’s commitment to tackling the serious issue of brand safety head on and the methods they are employing to both track and control the surrounding issues.

For the final portion of the day, our EMEA Managing Director Libby Robinson welcomed our panellists on stage, comprising of Alex and Nic and Ange Morris, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at EDF Energy. Heated panel debate ensued on a range of topics; from the role regulators should play concerning ad fraud and brand safety, to discussing if it can ever be fully automated. The panel also spoke about how the industry can harness data pulled from programmatic to track and measure brand safety and how a mobile-first marketing approach differs to a desktop approach.

Opinions were diverse, however here at M&C Saatchi Performance we advocate transparency and open and honest conversations, particularly when it comes to discussing what we can do to tackle issues like brand safety and ad fraud. As a performance marketing agency, we have been demanding higher standards of mobile measurement for years, which covers a whole range of areas, including brand safety and ad fraud.

One of the most significant barriers to realising this is the lack of industry recognised standards and guidance that is currently on offer, specific to mobile. The standards for mobile are currently set the same for desktop and many of the in-market solutions reflect this, with their heritage invariably residing in desktop. However, 2017 is the year we will see the market maturing with regards to measurement, regulation and standards on mobile and this is something our panel focussed on heavily at Inside Mobile.

Finally, we wrapped the event with drinks and canapes on the terrace, with the sun finally deciding to rear its head! Many thanks to those who came along to our Inside Mobile event and we hope you found it an informative session.

If you would be interested in finding out more information or would like to sign up for future Inside Mobile events, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch