CANNES – Even as the Association of National Advertisers exerts pressure on the digital media supply chain to clean up its act, the organization is taking matters into its own hands by testing an alternative digital supply chain.

“If you look at the digital media supply chain, as an enterprise, the jury is still out because we still have a LUMAscape which is as complex as Einstein’s theory of relativity,” says ANA CEO Bob Liodice during a break at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

“And because of that, marketers don’t understand how to best leverage that supply chain to their advantage.”

As proof of the extent of dysfunction, he says that only 25 to 40 cents on every digital dollar reaches the consumer. “That’s awful. We need to find a way to improve that productivity. We haven’t gotten there yet.”

The ANA has been working with Digital Content Next to support TrustX, a programmatic advertising marketplace designed to help maximize marketers’ digital advertising expenditures. “The early read is that we can get twenty percent improvement, but there’s so much more work to be done,” says Liodice.

This year, the Cannes Festival is an opportunity for the ANA to “globalize” its CMO Masters Circle initiative. It’s composed of 1,000 executives from leading brands across ANA member companies who are trying to help solve what Liodice calls “the universal problem in our industry, which is growth.”

According to Liodice, 50% of Fortune 500 companies have declining after-tax profits while 40% have declining revenues. Masters Circle has crafted a 12-point strategic and is “building machine around that effort.”

He says Cannes recognized that the program is working and “they thought that this was a good opportunity to spread that message on a global basis.” Some 20 to 25 of the leading CMO’s around the world will “discuss the issue, come together and decide what it is that we want to do to attack the growth agenda worldwide.”

Among the ANA’s other ongoing initiatives is providing its members with more of a grounding in various futuristic technologies that have marketing implications, like artificial intelligence, blockchain and virtual reality. To this end, the ANA recently acquired the Data & Marketing Association, which was founded in 2017 as the Direct Marketing Association, as Advertising Age reports.

This video is part of a series produced by Beet.TV at Cannes Lions 2018 about advertising accountability presented by Mediaocean.    Please find more videos from this series here.