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Google's current scandal may serve to take the heat off, for a little bit.Ryan Kangisser, founder of ad tech consultancy Stack I/O, said: "As far as agencies are concerned, I think this recent storm has helped to shift attention away from the ongoing transparency and brand safety concerns — related to their own programmatic offerings — and allowed them to reinstate their position as gatekeepers by holding Google much closer to account.They added: "It's bad that ISIS content is out there. '25 Cheerleader Costume Disasters — You Won't Believe Number 24' — that stuff is real and it is [of] scale, but most of those ads are bought by agency trading desks." The advertising agency sector has been plagued with transparency issues in recent months.[British intelligence agency] MI6 should be asking for the postal address where the check [generated by You Tube ad revenue] is being sent, but fake news was 10,000 times bigger. A high-profile report in the US published last summer alleged agencies unethically pad their profits through non-transparent practices such as rebate schemes and arbitrage. But nevertheless, the report, commissioned by the Association of National Advertisers, sparked a wave of media agency reviews, audits, and has fueled a conversation in the industry about mistrust between agencies and their clients.
That's a view shared by UK advertiser body ISBA, which suggested Google should place recently uploaded content in a kind of quarantine until it could guarantee brands were safe to advertise against it. When people get on top, we want to kick them down." Nonetheless, most of the executives we spoke to were surprised at the sheer amount of volume placed in Google's direction over this ad misplacement issue, given the small amount of ad dollars that were likely affected.It is also a good opportunity to show leadership as well as create differentiation in the measures they are putting in place to mitigate the prevailing issues around brand safety and fraud." This particular round of negative PR for Google could also serve to give agencies "leverage" when it comes to negotiating what they really want from the online ad giant, according some of the people we spoke to.Only one agency group — Havas UK — has suspended all its clients' advertising from You Tube (a move not mirrored by Havas globally).Google's Brittin said on Monday that the company is talking about "pennies not pounds" — a view shared by most of the executives we spoke to, who thought the percentage of ads appearing next to extremist videos is likely negligible.The following questions came up often in our conversations with advertising executives: Had The Times not conducted its investigation, would any of the brands have noticed any negative impact?