PHOENIX — Two years after the world’s biggest advertiser lit a fire under a litany of digital advertising supply chain concerns, the world’s biggest ad buyer says things have improved.

Now he hopes advertisers can pay a price that reflects the improvement.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, John Montgomery, GroupM global brand safety EVP, reflects on the speech P&G chief brand officer Marc Pritchard gave to the IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting in January 2017.

“The great news is … it’s a much, much more measured and safe environment for brands,” Montgomery says.

Overall quality in the digital supply chain has increased dramatically. Publishers are using Moat, DoubleVerify, Whiteops, Integral Ad Science so that, by the time we get the inventory, it’s already been scrubbed, it’s already quality impressions.

“We’re seeing a situation where brand safety has become table stakes for a publisher. I think most publishers realize that, unless they deliver brand safe quality impressions to a marketer, they’re not going to get onto the schedule at all.”

Brand safety has been one of marketers’ key concerns in the last couple of years – fanned not just by Pritchard’s salvo but also by high-profile examples of brands appearing next to unsavoury content.

That fired the starting gun for ad-tech platforms to introduce measures including keyword-based filtering of available ad opportunities, based on an understanding of the content there – a practice which now even stands accused by some publishers of going too far.

“Empirical research evidence shows that, once you deliver those quality impressions, the ads work better,” Montgomery says.

“It does justify a premium, or certainly not a declining price which is what’s been happening over the last few years, which is unsustainable.

“If we can prove that quality ads work better, we can at least stop the slide towards lower prices because in that sort of quagmire of lower pricing lies a lot of other safety brand problems that we’ve been experiencing.”

This segment is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting 2019, Phoenix.   This series is sponsored by Telaria.  Please find additional videos from the series on this page