Do Google’s latest policies make Ad-sense to everyone?

Jonathan Gardner
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All advertisers want their ads to work. (Source: Getty)

It appears Adland has its marigolds on.

In a bid to appease both advertisers and publishers, Google’s latest changes allow it to remove ads from un-safe environments on a page-by-page basis.

The latest policy updates to Adsense are meant to provide publishers with more guidance about why policy actions were taken and the violations that were found. These include page-level action data to quickly resolve these issues across all their sites and pages with step-by-step instructions.

Recent incidents with top flight advertisers including Jaguar, Honda and John Lewis who were forced to pull ad campaigns altogether after they appeared alongside extremist content, have clearly carried wider ramifications for the supply side with publishers facing a refreshed focus on inventory quality.

Testament to this, our recent study of UK media agency professionals found 73% of agency execs now rate inventory quality as a top priority when looking to invest precious brand ad budgets. But what is more surprising is that respondents rated inventory quality significantly higher than fraud prevention measures, despite all the recent supply-side issues.

Delving into the findings it becomes clear a generational gap has evolved between digital natives (professionals under the age of 30) and their older colleagues, with the under 30s placing ad fraud as a less than crucial concern with respect to video investment in particular.

Rather than advertising violations, these younger professionals have issues with how brands are able to gauge success. Fifty-seven per cent of respondents under 30 “do not wholly trust” the metrics in use at the moment—including viewable CPM, audibility, and offline sales.

While there are major, measurable differences with the perspectives of long-time agency staff members, the data doesn’t prove one indisputably correct and one totally wrong. What we discovered, instead, is that there’s ample room to challenge the status quo and tackle ongoing issues in ad performance, and that as younger pros assume positions of greater responsibility, the programmatic landscape may look very different.

This can only be good thing. As more complex advertising formats like vertical or 360° video take centre stage, well over a third of brands still consider online conversions and clickthroughs to be the chief measures of video success.

Of course, not every advertiser is obsessed with how much time consumers spend with their digital ads or how many pixels they see, but all advertisers want their ads to work. The days of simply putting an ad together based on recent trends and hoping for the best are over.

Recent headlines conclusively prove there’s no time for complacency among brands when it comes to digital advertising. It is up to the agency and the technologist to educate and inform the decisions being made by advertisers with respect to publishers.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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