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Powering the future of advertising through transparent connections

February 06, 2023
A young woman sitting outside smiles while working on her computer.

Around the world, digital ad spend continues to increase year over year (YoY). By the end of 2024, forecasts predict that digital will account for almost 80% of all media spend in the United Kingdom (UK). Its flexible nature, low costs, mass reach, and endless opportunities to make adverts more visible has made it a preferred method of advertising for many brands. At the same time, the digitization of traditional media, such as TV, is attracting a bigger audience—and in turn more ad dollars. However, the proliferation of bad actors in the space has led to mistrust of consumers in the industry and poor connection across the entire ecosystem.

As a response, the India, Brazil, and South Africa Facility for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation (IBSA) Fund and PwC conducted their first supply chain transparency study in 2020, and the results were negative for the industry.

A combined taskforce comprising UK trade organizations (Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA), Association of Online Publishers (AOP), Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), individual members including Xandr, and independent auditor PwC) developed a new “Toolkit”.

This “Toolkit” has been designed to improve data access and quality, to resolve historic issues, reduce the 17% unknown delta and take major steps forward in creating a better connected and transparent ecosystem. The good news is that the 2022 study reveals significant improvements in impression match rates and a reduction in the unknown delta with more spend flowing to publishers as a result. But why is this important for marketers?

Tackling the financial crisis

As a result of global socioeconomic challenges, the world is facing a tough time financially, and the advertising industry is no exception to this. In fact, many companies will be looking to do more with less and so it’s important to consider how marketers can stretch their budgets further.

In the ISBA’s report, there’s support for the fact that using private and curated marketplaces can improve cost efficiencies, ensuring transparency over where and how money is spent. With marketers being under pressure to make their media dollars work hard during the economic downturn, utilizing private and curated deals can provide a more financially viable solution. Through Xandr’s platform, we’re able to offer a direct route to premium supply in multiple environments, ensuring advertisers not only have transparency into how their media dollars are being spent but also that they’re getting the most out of them.

Controlling your supply chain is key

It’s no surprise that transparency is continually highlighted as necessary across the advertising industry and the ISBA’s report only demonstrates this point further. At Xandr, we often see brands seeking to take control of their supply chain and gain additional transparency into where their media dollars are going. This is a natural progression as the industry matures and more expectations for brands come to fruition.

More brands are becoming keenly aware of their social impact, not just in terms of diversity or sustainability ambitions, but in making sure their ad dollars reach independent publishers and ensuring they have full visibility. This becomes even more important as brands come under increasing scrutiny from consumers to make sure they care as much about their impact as they do about the money they're making.

At Xandr, we champion brands looking to do better across all these areas. Not only because it’s the right thing to do but also because of our unique position on both sides of the ad tech ecosystem. We have a vested interest in the benefits that transparency can bring for both advertisers and publishers.

Reports like the ISBA and PwC study are a way for the industry to tackle these transparency challenges. These improvements come from increased awareness and participation in studies like these, as well as improvements in data quality and access. Matching individual impressions across a wide array of platforms will never be easy, but it’s reassuring to see improvements as platforms look to regain the trust of brands. With the increase in openness and accountability, this will be an ongoing trend and one that the industry should support, ensuring tools and services to facilitate marketers gaining control of their supply chain and ultimately being able to direct spend to the platforms and services where they see the best value on their return on investment.

Shaping the future

Thinking about the future and the continuing focus on sustainability and responsible advertising, at Xandr we look forward to drive change towards transparency and accountability. We want to see even more improvements, which support a longer-lasting future for both the industry and the environment around us.


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