November 17, 2017

93% of CMOs Overhaul Digital Strategy in 2017 Amid Brand Safety Concerns

Research reveals brands demand increased industry regulation, better measurement and more transparency to clean up digital advertising

New York City – 16th November 2017 – New research from Teads1 reveals that CMOs at large brands in the U.S. have made drastic changes to their digital marketing strategy in the last 12 months in response to growing concerns around brand safety, transparency and ad fraud – with 48% reviewing relationships with suppliers and 55% reviewing agencies.

Less than a year since Marc Pritchard’s speech on brand safety rocked the industry at the IAB Leadership Conference, and just eight months after The Times exposed how ads were appearing next to terrorist content, the study reveals how CMOs and marketing VPs at large companies have responded.

In the last twelve months, more than three fourths (78%) of marketing heads say they have become more concerned about brand safety, with 77% more worried about ad fraud than before.

In response to these concerns, 93% of CMOs say they’ve overhauled their digital strategy. Nearly half are demanding greater transparency from suppliers and agencies, with 48% questioning their supplier relationships and 53% re-examining their agency relationships.

In the future, 98% will choose agencies or suppliers based on their ability to prove brand safety and transparency. Almost a third (30%) have boycotted or reduced spend on channels that can’t guarantee brand safety and 60% of CMOs say they are now directly involved in the execution of digital strategy. Over a third (34%) now book campaigns direct with suppliers rather than relying on agencies, and half of CMOs (50%) are even considering taking ad buying in-house.

Despite this action, brand safety concerns persist for CMOs. Over a third (38%) want reassurance from publishers that they’re controlling risky content on their sites. Over half (51%) want agencies to address their questions on transparency and 37% are worried how users could react to ads appearing next to unsafe content.

For these concerns to be overcome there are three main areas where CMOs want to see change. First, over half (51%) believe there needs to be tighter industry self-regulation and better industry-wide standards for fraud and brand safety. Second, 48% believe there should be more focus on reporting the quality of ad placements and environments, rather than just reach, driven by third-party measurement. Finally, 54% of brands want greater transparency from suppliers and agencies about where ads appear and what their definitions of success are, for example, what a viewable ad is (50%).

Emi Gal, CEO of Teads Studio and Group CMO at Teads, said “2017 is the year of change within the advertising industry. The entire digital community was shaken by understanding just how much ad fraud is taking place. As a result, Teads has been focused on ways to make the advertising industry a cleaner and safer environment. 

To start, everyone in the industry must work together to make sure transparency, brand safety and fraud-free advertising are guaranteed every step of the way.

That’s why Teads is partnered with DoubleVerify, and a big proponent of Ads.txt which helps to detect unauthorized sellers and fake inventory.”

To learn more about the Ads.txt initiative, sign up for Teads’ live panel discussion featuring industry thought leaders here.


  1. Teads commissioned independent market research company Censuswide to survey 104 CMOs and marketing VPs at US companies in November 2017. The respondents all work within companies with an annual turnover of at least $25 million. Unless otherwise stated, all statistics referenced relate to this survey.


Teads, founded in 2011, is the inventor of outstream video advertising and No. 1 video advertising marketplace in the world. Publishers work with Teads to create brand new video inventory and manage their existing inventory, monetizing it through programmatic buying, their own sales forces, or third parties.

Teads’ native video advertising solutions encompass a series of formats inserted deep into media content, like the inRead playing inside articles. It is changing the game within the video advertising market by creating unprecedented levels of premium inventory, which did not exist before.

Brands and agencies can access this top-tier, premium inventory, available on the web and on mobile, through programmatic or managed services. Through its managed services capabilities, the Teads team execute on its client’s behalf using its platform.

Teads has a team of over 500 employees, 100 of whom are on the innovation team, across 27 offices in 21 countries.


Nicole Matthews/ / 1 (408) 386-4244

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