The latest study from ISBA and PwC reveals that brands lose half of the programmatic ad spending

The ISBA Programmatic Supply Chain Transparency Study says around 15% of programmatic advertising spending is unattributed to players in the supply chain. The study that was carried out by PwC reveals only 51% of advertising spend is received by publishers while the remaining goes towards various fees charged by demand and supply-side platforms.

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The study is based on data collected from 15 advertisers, eight agencies; five demand-side platforms (DSPs), six supply-side platforms (SSPs), and 12 publishers, representing approximately £100m in UK programmatic media spend.

Some key highlights from the study –

  • Agency fees account for 7% of the programmatic ad spend
  • Demand-side technology ropes in 10% of advertiser money
  • Demand and supply-side platforms each represent an 8% cut

According to the study, only 12% of 267 million ad impressions paid for by brands for publishers’ websites were accounted for. Researchers came across a weak link in ad tech suppliers’ shared data and an inconsistency in data storage and formatting. They found that data captured by a DSP for an impression was not equally captured by SSPs, which affected the impression matching. Of the 51% of ad spending, the study attributed 35% to suppliers, including the agency, SSP, DSP, and technology providers.

Some of the brands in the study were appearing on a significant number of websites over a period of three months. The study said there is a need for standardization across several areas to improve data-sharing and drive transparency. In addition, industry collaboration is important to further investigate the unaccounted data. A cross-industry task force has been set up to work on these two issues, said the study.

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Publishers are expected to be more selective about their partners and modify terms on which they do business. Some work with a small number of SSPs while others with a larger number to benefit from a greater volume of ad impressions.