Last January, Marc Pritchard, Chief Marketing Officer for Procter and Gamble, (P&G) had enough. Despite spending billions on digital advertising placement, the corporation behind household staple brands such as Tide, Bounty and Pampers, continued to have abysmal growth numbers. For the last several years, he called upon Facebook and Google to discuss the ad campaign results but was met with a surprising response.  They refused to share the collected data.  P&G wasn’t alone. For decades, other brands experienced similar treatment. Advertisers, it seemed, were at the mercy of the platform giants. But P&G was determined to change that.

At an annual meeting of some of the largest and most powerful advertisers in the world, Pritchard took the opportunity to relay his disgust with the ubiquitous absence of transparency in their industry and demanded they “get a transparent, clean and productive media supply chain or risk losing P&G’s business.” Other brand giants soon joined P&G’s fight, setting off a battle cry for change within the industry while at the same time exposing some of the biggest secrets of the largest advertising platforms in the world.

For the accused, the backlash was swift. Advertisers across the globe began questioning their own viewability results and the right of platforms to withhold the campaign generated data. Fearing widespread withdraw of advertising dollars, the digital platforms promised more transparency. Some even joined forces with advertiser coalition groups who called for open access to the data on the platforms.

In the short time that has followed Pritchard’s call-to-arms, much has been written about how the coalition groups plan to increase accountability and transparency for advertisers. While it appears that the changes will be positive for brands, it might not be the market solution advertisers had expected. One thing is certain, the biggest obstacle for marketers won’t be how to reach their target audience, it’s going to be the ability to keep up with the challenges of advertising in the modern age.

In the next few weeks, we’ll be releasing additional articles that will identify the key problems marketers face when selecting a digital media buying campaign. We will also provide tips on protecting your budget and brand in the process.