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Trust, Protection and Transparency Are Key Elements to the Future Media Business

3 minute read | October 2018

The digital revolution has brought about a world where an abundance of data and information is just a click away. The data created from those clicks and views bring benefits but also come with the responsibilities of building trust, providing protection and fostering transparency for data.

Alongside other major industry power players, Nielsen thought leaders recently facilitated a discussion on these hot-button topics at Advertising Week New York 2018.

Questions persist around how the industry can foster an environment of trust and transparency as the media business is undergoing a period of rapid evolution. “Anything less than the correct path forward could not just hinder consumer trust, but impact bottom lines,” said Megan Clarken, President of Nielsen’s Watch Business, during her main stage talk (pictured above).

“We owe it to ourselves as an industry and we owe it to the consumers that we serve…to not mess with this [trust]. To make sure that we get this right,” said Megan. “We welcome the work that’s going on at the moment, whether that be GDPR or anything that’s going on to tighten up security, tighten up the privacy and protect the consumers that are our clients.”

Nielsen panel at Advertising Week New York 2018

Following Megan’s talk, she introduced a spirited panel discussion moderated by Peter Bradbury, EVP, National Media Client Services at Nielsen. Among other topics, the panel spoke about the responsibility of industry players to be protectors of data while also using its granularity to unlock insights that propel businesses to new heights and drive client value.

The panel included representatives across key areas of the media industry, with Tom Ziangas (SVP, Research & Insights, AMC Networks Inc.), Brad Smallwood (VP, Marketing Science, Facebook), Michele Donati (SVP & Managing Director, WHERE Group, Horizon Media), and Jed Dederick (VP, Business Development, The Trade Desk) all joining Peter on stage.

“We have a responsibility to have a platform that is safe…that consumers and people can trust,” said Brad.

The panelists expressed how their companies have put privacy at the forefront of their concerns, acknowledging that the troves of data in the digital world bring about not only exciting, new opportunities, but also a requirement to protect it.

Panel discusses data transparency at Advertising Week New York

Tom noted that the data AMC leans on for decisioning needs to be trusted as well.

“I need to make sure that the data inputs that are coming in are data inputs that we believe in and have a level of [trust] to [them],” said Tom. “There’s a level of trust that comes with the Nielsen name and the data that we get, and I think that’s really, really important.”

Jed explained that transparent, trusted and reputable data is paramount for the industry, especially for advertisers looking to deliver relevant ads to consumers.  

“As we improve the consumer experience of advertising, they’re trusting us to use their data in positive ways and to improve their experience of just consuming content…The conversation gets a whole lot better,” Jed added.

While companies are ultimately competing with one another in the space, a push toward more collaboration and connectivity between entities was also discussed. This included working towards common standards and collaborative consumer trust initiatives, as well as a need for common languages that are transparent and open to accreditation.

“The days of the wild west are over,” said Michele. “Buyers and sellers are getting much closer…now we’re much more transparent with our media owners…and they’re much more transparent.”