ACCC head calls out adtech behaviour in renewed plea for ad industry to help inquiry

Chair of the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission, Rod Sims, has criticised the pricing and transparency of the digital platforms and adtech services while renewing his call for the advertising industry to speak up on the global players’ practices.

Speaking to a ThinkTV function in Sydney, Sims repeated his call for advertisers to speak up on the practices and pricing of adtech market.

ACCC commissioner Rod Sims said the inquiry was still puzzling over the complexities of the Adtech supply chain

Mumbrella understands the ACCC has extended its submission deadline for responses to its draft Digital Platforms review to allow advertisers to lodge their

One aspect of the inquiry highlighted by Sims is the pricing of intermediary services, such as the amounts paid by advertisers for ad impressions, which the ACCC believes is too opaque.

Sims told the ThinkTV audience: “It is important that we better understand the issues with the ad tech supply chain because a lack of transparency means that advertisers do not know what they are paying for, where their advertisements are being displayed, and to whom.

“Higher advertising prices ultimately translate to higher prices for consumers for products and services.”

The ACCC commissioner also pointed out the lack of clarity around adtech disadvantages online media businesses, adding: “We have not yet reached a view on these issues and we are continuing to examine the adtech supply chain to understand better how it works and how this impacts advertisers.

“In this we would like the advertising industry’s help, as it is clear these are issues that require close examination.”

“There are different examples of this vertical integration and opportunity to discriminate in the delivery of online advertising, and in particular, across the programmatic advertising supply chain.

“While Facebook is not present across the adtech supply chain in the same way as Google, it is nevertheless vertically integrated through its operation of the Facebook audience network and the services offered on the Facebook platforms.

“For media companies who compete against Google and Facebook this is a critical issue.”

FreeTV and the Australian Association of National Advertisers raised in their ACCC submissions concerns about how advertisers can verify the effectiveness of their ads.

Both groups have pointed Facebook and Google monitor the delivery of advertisements on their own platforms while TV and radio broadcasters are subject to third party verification of their audiences through services such as Nielsen and GfK.

The ACCC is due to release its final report into the digital platforms in early June.


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