Ikon to boycott blind online ad networks

Media agency Ikon Communications will next week stop trading with online sales networks which do not disclose full details of where ads appear.

So called blind networks are sold by sales houses who buy up remnant online advertising inventory across a variety of sites and then sell those ads at a low price.  However, brands can have limited say in where their ads appear.  

But Ikon has decided to stop dealing with blind networks. Announcing the move, which begins next Thursday, Ellie Rogers, Ikon’s national digital director said: ““After the digital world being shrouded in mystery for the last decade with blind networks, we believe the market had now reached a point of maturity where 100% transparency should be a pre-requisite for advertisers.”

She said that theragency would be working with online sales houses to access “open site lists”.

The Ikon announcement added: “The agency are working towards a deadline of 1st September for all publishers to have open site lists, and has worked closely and collaboratively with key partners to ensure that the way we trade is not disrupted by our new focus on visibility and accountability.”

The move is not the first one made by Ikon to attempt to force higher standards out of online publishers. In march, the agency said that it would stop dealing with sites that don’t follow industry standards for serving video ads.

Other agencies have also stepped in, when they feel that Australia’s media owners have failed to deliver what the market wants. Also in March, UM told Fairfax Media that it would stop buying video ads if the company did not stop autoplaying them.

Within three weeks Fairfax Media pledged to drop the ads. However, four months on, it is still autoplaying video.



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