Unilever pushing publishers to welcome third-party ad verification


One of the world’s biggest advertisers wants its publisher partners to share its philosophy on ad measurement and verification.

Luis di Como, Unilever’s executive vice-president of global media, said that as the company builds out its cross-media measurement model, it will be pushing publishers across the globe to work with independent third-party verification companies.

In an effort to understand reach and frequency across screens so advertisers don’t “bombard” consumers with the same ad, di Como said publishers must first align with Unilever’s privacy-first approach to advertising, and then work with outside measurement firms to check their work if they hope to strike a deal with Unilever.

“We want to work with publishers that are open to independent third-party verification, willing to demonstrate that they walk the talk, and to also demonstrate that they are delivering on their key promises,” said di Como. “For us it’s critical, this concept of trust and verification and having the openness of the platform to having an independent third-party to validate all of this.”

Unilever is calling for more transparency around privacy and measurement practices as part of its larger effort with the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA).

The WFA, whose members include Facebook, Twitter, Google, Nielsen, Kantar, Mastercard, NBC Universal and Viacom, will be hosting a closed-door event on Wednesday (25 September) where it plans to announce specific industry standards.

While on stage today (23 September) at Advertising Week New York, di Como and lan Thygesen, president of Google Americas, wouldn’t preview any announcements, but the Unilever exec emphasized the need for a standardized approach to cross-platform media spend.

“At the end of the day, there is only one consumer and there is only one budget,” said di Como. “So we need to make tradeoffs in our investments in order to identify which are the levers that will have the highest level of return. If you just look at the last five or six years, we have all of the information… but we couldn’t identify deduplicated reach, and that creates a bad experience for the consumer.”

One such medium is voice. While still in advertising nascency, di Como said the industry could see a complete transformation in the next 10 years.

“We are social creatures,” said di Como. “We have been born to have a conversation. We have not been born just to poke our fingers into a screen on a mobile phone. I do believe voice is in its infancy and will completely transform the way we interact with technology.”

Thygesen said consumers are already “warming” to that way of interaction, noting that voice is responsible for over 20% of search queries on mobile phones in the US.



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