Advertising News

Unilever, Sky, 02 join advertising blockchain pilot


Today, UK-based cross-industry body JICWEBS announced new participants to its blockchain pilot for digital advertising. The trial aims to evaluate the use of blockchain to address the trust, transparency and inefficiency problems faced by the digital advertising industry.

The pilot now has several new significant advertisers and their agencies. The first to sign up earlier in the year were Nestlé, McDonald’s and Virgin Media and their agencies. Today’s announcement expands the membership from six to 22 (see below) including Unilever, Sky and O2. Several agencies are participating, such as Mindshare, Zenith, OMG and Havas.

The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA), which is one of the founding members of JICWEBS, is conducting a study of the programmatic supply chain along with PwC. Primarily, the ISBA study will provide insights on some of the problems faced by the digital advertising industry. In turn, the blockchain pilot will attempt to solve these problems using distributed ledger technology (DLT).

“Our own Programmatic Supply Chain Transparency Study – conducted by PwC – will provide the industry with empirical evidence that it needs to underpin and drive forward any future technological solutions,” said Stephen Chester, Director of Media, ISBA.

Meanwhile, the UK arm of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has appealed to its members to join the JICWEBS pilot. Previously, the organization found that intermediaries pocket over 50% of advertising spend. Blockchain is aiming to reduce these costs and increase clarity around the impact of advertising.

JICWEBS partnered with London-based FIDUCIA for the pilot project, which will run for the rest of the year. If successful, JICWEBS will roll out the platform in 2020.

There are several other blockchain initiatives focused on streamlining digital advertising. Unilever is also a participant in the MediaOcean advertising blockchain developed with IBM. Two months ago Unilever reported it experienced “zero leakage” using the platform and intended to explore scaling. MediaOcean’s main platform powers $140 billion in ad spend a year, and its blockchain solution went live at the beginning of the year.

Blockchain protocol Lucidity is working with IAB Tech Lab’s blockchain pilot to validate advertising events such as impressions and click-throughs. Lucidity is also working with Toyota, which saw a 21% rise in ad performance using a blockchain solution.

Another advertising consortium, AdLedger, has published several reports on blockchain use cases for the industry.

Full list of the trial participants: Flashtalking, GiveMeSport, GumGum, Gumtree, Havas, Index Exchange, Integral Ad Science (IAS), McDonald’s, Mindshare, Moat, Nestle, Netmums, O2, OMG, Rightmove, Sky, SMART Adserver, Sublime, Unilever, Virgin Media, Xandr, Zenith.

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