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The ANA Says Advertisers Are Spending Way Less On MFA – But Programmatic Ain’t Fully Transparent Yet

By Allison Schiff, Managing Editor AdExchanger


One year ago, the Association of National Advertisers released the first part of its Programmatic Media Supply Chain Transparency Study.

But it really should have been named The Lack of Programmatic Media Supply Chain Transparency Study.

Because that report, and the follow-up study published in December, uncovered an appalling amount of programmatic waste, including $22 billion a year thrown away on an unholy combo platter of made-for-advertising sites, indirect supply paths, invalid traffic and numerous other ad tech shenanigans.

The average programmatic campaign was found to run on a whopping 44,000 websites, and MFA accounted for more than 20% of all programmatic impressions.

In short, a mess.

There has been some improvement, though, according to the ANA and TAG TrustNet – and they say they can prove it.


On Monday, to coincide with the first day of the Cannes Lions festival, the ANA and TAG TrustNet released the first of what will be quarterly industry benchmarks that aggregate log-level data across multiple marketers.

The purpose of the benchmark is to create a gauge advertisers can use to determine how their programmatic campaigns compare with the broader industry in terms of MFA activity, media quality, CPMs, sustainability and DEI.

“The 2023 study was a wake-up call to the industry to say, ‘You may not know it, but you’re out of control,’” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “What this does is provide the guidance that buyers need so they can ask the right questions and do it on an ongoing basis.”

According to this first benchmark, which includes an analysis of log-level data for 11 brands (all ANA members), the amount of media dollars being spent on MFA dropped from 15% to 4%.


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