Summit Snapshot: ‘Brand Champions’ Address Brand Safety and the Consumer Engagement Value Exchange

July 18, 2017

Big Idea: Privacy, transparency and DAA Principles lead conversations that brand representatives are having about innovation inside their own organizations as well as with their advertising, media and tech partners.

Heard at DAA Summit 2017...

In a panel titled “Brand Champions: Brand Safety and the Consumer Engagement Value Exchange,” attendees at this year’s Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) Summit heard from leaders in digital governance, who spoke about how and why well-known brands are innovating to engage with consumers through choice and transparency made possible by DAA program participation.

“How has digital governance evolved over recent years? Has the DAA self-regulatory framework offered an effective, flexible way to meet consumer expectations while enabling innovation?” asked David Buzby, director of government relations at the Association of National Advertisers, who opened the afternoon panel and served as its moderator.

Jonny Silberman, director of digital strategy and innovation at Anheuser-Busch InBev, said ideal adtech and data partners demonstrate a “proactive approach” to privacy and that DAA compliance is “a prerequisite for us to play within the space from an innovation perspective.”

“One of the signals that we’re starting to look to in terms of identifying vendors is not only have they checked all their boxes from a privacy perspective,” Silberman explained, “but are they involved within the privacy community, are they engaged and are they having the conversations to push the industry forward? Those are the people we want to partner with in the long term.”

Photo: (from left to right) Beth Hill, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, FordDirect; Scott Meyer, CEO, Evidon; Jonny Silberman, Director of Digital Strategy and Innovation, Anheuser-Busch InBev; and Sheryl Ann Yamuder, currently Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, Roku.

Sheryl Ann Yamuder, vice president, business and legal affairs, Roku, emphasized the growing demand for transparency and “a greater and greater need to have the consumer be educated and understand the choices that we’re giving them, not just giving them those choices.” The panel agreed on the importance of consumer education and noted DAA’s key role in this effort, including DAA’s consumer site

Beth Hill, general counsel and chief compliance officer at FordDirect, added that the DAA guides not just consumers, but companies, too, especially when it comes to processing data responsibly. “The conversation is centering around use; what is responsible use of data?” Hill said. “That’s where self-regulatory programs like the DAA really manifest themselves to be truly valuable [...] to demonstrate that [brands] are taking these issues seriously and that they are thinking about consumer expectations.”

Making the business case for self-regulation

While adopting self-regulation and adhering to DAA Principles is increasingly a standard for doing business in the digital ad space, the panel stated that convincing company CFOs of self-regulation and DAA value is not always a straightforward task.

“Who here had a really easy time getting the DAA through their approval process?” Hill joked with the audience at the Summit, admitting that enrolling FordDirect in the DAA’s self-regulatory program took a bit of executive education on her part. But while it may be a hard sell at first, Hill said, adherence to DAA Principles makes sense in the larger picture, and naturally becomes an integral “part of an overall data strategy.”

Photo: (from left to right) David Buzby, Director of Government Relations, Association of National Advertisers; Beth Hill, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, FordDirect; and Scott Meyer, CEO, Evidon.

Scott Meyer, CEO of Evidon and an “Approved Provider” for DAA program compliance, echoed Hill, adding that budgets for privacy officers can be lean, so the case can and should be made that responsible privacy practices heed significant returns for a brand. “Let's face it, privacy people always struggle to find budget,” Meyer said. “It’s changing, we're seeing more and more privacy officers with bigger budgets, but tying it back to direct business results always helps that case.”

The bottom line, Yamuder said, is that brands “want to stay engaged with consumers […] they don't want to lose their credibility and trust with their consumer, and so one of the big arguments we make is we want to maintain our consumer trust and consumer relationship.” By adopting the DAA program, Yamuder said, a brand can maintain its standing as transparent and consumer-friendly--a valuable reputation to uphold, whether you’re selling financial services or beer.

Staying on top of privacy while adapting to changes

With new technologies appearing constantly, data comes from new directions and in new forms. With this in mind, Buzby steered the panel to discuss how brands address new privacy questions that arise with new tech every year, if not every week.

Hill suggested that collaboration and communication within a company is key to keeping the data flowing and protected at the same time: “we can't have silos when it comes to this stuff.”

Silberman stated further that the same kind of active exchange should happen between data and ad tech partners. “It's a relationship and it's a conversation,” said Silberman, “it's also asking partners who are proposing innovations to be privacy proactive versus reactive and extremely transparent in how they approach the market.”

Likewise the panel stressed a need for initiative and proactivity in a constantly evolving digital ecosystem.

“You’re never done […] it’s a workflow, it’s a constant process, and it becomes engrained in your daily business practices -- so it’s not a privacy thing, it’s how you run the company,” Meyer said.

Thank you to Charlie Tomb for his editorial support toward our Summit Snapshot 2017 blog series.

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