By Adam Fraser
Interesting times for the big guns in the digital media world.
As we entered 2017, Google and Facebook were increasingly dominant to the point of being labeled a duopoly in terms of digital advertising market share. It seemed they were untouchable.
Suddenly a few bumps are appearing in the road.
Google is in the midst of an advertiser backlash, as brands push back on their ads appearing alongside extremely distasteful content.
Suddenly the risks of programmatic and algorithmic decision making are becoming all too clear to brands – the low cost and ease of process comes with a lack of control and high brand risk that your ad may appear alongside inappropriate context.
Then one of the world’s biggest spenders, the CMO of Proctor and Gamble, sets an open measurement challenge to the big digital “walled gardens” – show us the metrics or we will pull our ads.
An industry-standard audience measurement by year end for the digital universe is a big goal, but if the major platforms don’t play ball, the risks of advertiser backlash grows.
As with the major colonial empires in history, is it at the peak of your powers that a dominant force becomes complacent and vulnerable? It’s always hard to see at the time, but perhaps the first signs of some very faint cracks are appearing for Google and Facebook.
The transparency and measurement issues for the digital publishing sector are certainly not going away.