CANNES – This week, we have already seen how blockchain infrastructure can help ensure the integrity of pork and mango supply chains. Now what could it do for advertising?

A lot, according to ad-tech firm Mediaocean and IBM’s iX agency. They have partnered to launch what they are calling “a blockchain consortium for the digital media supply chain”.

The group includes advertisers Kellogg, Kimberly-Clark, Pfizer and Unilever. It is unclear how they function as a “consortium” but, in this video interview with Beet.TV, IBM’s Babs Rangaiah explains the idea is all about bringing transparency to a media supply chain where clients are frustrated at cents siphoned off by ad-tech platforms.

“Any industry that has a transaction, blockchain will be able to provide transparency and a single version of the truth for that,” he says,

Rangaiah says IBM began by building a blockchain for his former employer, Unilever. “We did find that it could solve for some of the exact issues that we were talking about. So Unilever agreed to go to phase two, build this out and scale it a little bit.”

To achieve scale, Rangaiah tapped up Mediaocean, whose CEO trailed such an approach on Beet.TV back in April.

“Mediaocean is connected to the entire media buying system,” IBM’s exec continues. “It’s integrated all the way from planning to buying to executing.”

That gives IBM’s blockchain offering, which is built on its Hyperledger technology, connection to DSPs, SSPs and more.

Whilst blockchain is best known as the technology infrastructure which powers the likes of Bitcoin, over the last year businesses of all kinds have explored the potential it offers to record every action and modification in a distributed ledger.

For advertising buyers and sellers, who, over the last couple of years, have been plagued by the creeping realisation that much of their money is siphoned off by intermediary platforms without full disclosure, the idea is that blockchain could shine a spotlight on every fraction of a cent that might be taken by links in the chain.

This video is part of a series produced at Cannes Lions 2018 on the emergence of blockhchain in the media ecosystem.  This series is presented by Mediaocean.  For more videos from the series, visit this page