LONDON – Give ad spend direct to broadcasters and responsible companies, not the new generation of CTV fraudsters.

That is the message from the connected TV division of the world’s biggest media buying agency.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Finecast CEO Jakob Nielsen says it is safer and more responsible to swerve open CTV marketplaces.

From linear to CTV

“Linear TV will stop to exist, but it’s not happening tomorrow – it will take 10 years,” says Nielsen.

Finecast is GroupM’s specialist advanced TV buying unit. In 2017, WPP’s GroupM launched Finecastaiming to “help advertisers address hard-to-reach TV viewers through a single access point with standardized measurement”, beginning in the UK and since launching in a total of 11 countries.

Finecast aggregates video ad inventory in programming from some of the UK’s main commercial broadcasters, plus over most main set-top and over-the-top devices, from Sky’s satellite box to games consoles.

Go direct

For Nielsen, those direct relationships are the key.

Leveraging GroupM’s decades of experience, Finecast works directly with CTV-operating broadcasters, rather than buying through SSPs or exchanges.

“You know that (there is) no fraud with that, you know that is responsible media,” Nielsen says.

He estimates open-marketplace CTV ad sales will total almost $10 billion this year – and thinks that’s a problem.

Fighting fraud

“Most of the fraud in connected TV to date has happened in the open programmatic exchange and marketplace environment,” Nielsen observes.

CTV ad fraud is on the rise. DoubleVerify, which makes and sells anti-fraud digital ad software, says CTV ad fraud rose 161% year-on-year in Q1 2020.

For Finecast’s Nielsen, verification tech is only part of the solution.

“You can have stricter control,” he says. “When you work directly with a broadcaster, there isn’t fraud because you buy it directly.”

Be responsible

And that is one dimension of a new imperative GroupM is calling “responsible media”.

“It’s how you, as a company, behave; how they treat people, how they give everyone an equal opportunity, how they don’t look at the skin color, they don’t look at how tall you are,” Nielsen explains.

“It’s part of our responsibility to make sure that we predominantly work with companies that have a very, very declared strategy and behave according to that strategy in the market.

“We need to educate all of our clients that they need to spend their money with companies that we can rely on.”