Omnicom Media Group Issues Call-to-Action for Industry Adoption of CTV Standards

Connected TV Signal Standardization Initiative Launches with Support from Industry Stakeholders

New York, NY (November 2, 2021) – Omnicom Media Group (OMG), the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC), has launched The Connected TV Signal Standardization Initiative, calling for industry-wide support of a set of investment practices and protocols designed to bring the transparency, quality consumer experiences and safety of linear TV to Connected TV(CTV) environments.

Over the past year the combination of increased accessibility to internet-enabled TVs and  pandemic-driven shifts in media consumption helped drive record growth  in  CTV investments. In the US, 2020 CTV ad spend increased 40.6% year-over-year to more than $9 billion, making CTV the fasted growing sector of the US digital ad market. That growth rate is expected to further accelerate in 2021, closing on in 50% with a projected spend of $13.41 billion.

However, this exponential growth has also underscored fundamental flaws and gaps in the CTV investment infrastructure, including a lack of linear TV-level transparency; an inability to understand audiences at the household level across partners; and a measurability gap that translates to an open invitation to cyber criminals who are generating millions in ad fraud.  While some providers have offered siloed responses, scalable solutions have proven elusive.

“The category is growing, but so are the concerns about safety and transparency that make clients resistant to shifting spend into CTV,” says OMG North America Chief Activation Officer Megan Pagliuca. “Unless we as an industry – agencies and marketers, platforms, publishers and providers – adopt shared standards to mitigate the barriers to investment, these issues will increasingly undermine CTV ROI, and erode the marketer confidence that is fundamental to long-term category growth.” 

The Connected TV Signals Standardization Initiative addresses these endemic issues with recommended protocols and practices focusing on three signals that inform and impact media buying – inventory, identity, and fraud. 

Inventory:  Standardization of the nutrition label for CTV inventory

  • Integration of show and placement level details including show, channel, genre, and pod placement
  • Collaboration with third party verification companies to validate the ad content being sold
  • Standardization of these metrics through governing body frameworks, such as the updated IAB’s Content Taxonomy 3.0

Identity: Respect individual privacy and protect publisher data

  • Transition to household IDs, standardized through an industry governing body framework
  • Build framework for buyers and sellers to collaborate within Data Clean Rooms based on privacy first principles
  • Phase out non-privacy safe signals within audience targeting systems

Fraud: Illuminating the supply chain

  • Improved supply chain transparency and SSAI signatures through implementations of ads.cert 2.0
  • Integrate Connected TV Open Measurement SDK to allow better measurement of the CTV landscape
  • Collaboration between devices, platforms, and services on increasing fraud telemetry data such as Anti-Fraud SDKs and device attestation protocols

Omnicom has pointed to the influx of TV dollars shifting from linear to digital as a core reason behind this investment initiative. “The reality is that savvy clients have been shifting their TV budgets into a more holistic video strategy for years,” says OMG North America Chief Investment Officer Geoffrey Calabrese. “The beauty of Connected TV is that it’s a way for marketers to have a true like-for-like channel to enhance their linear TV reach; but they’re going put that investment primarily with partners that can provide them with buying signals that match back to what they’re already seeing in linear.  It’s just common sense.”

The Connected TV Signal Standardization Initiative has already gained support from a cross- section of industry stakeholders, including AMC Networks, Yahoo, independent sell-side  ad platform (SSP) Magnite, and bot detection and human  verification  company HUMAN (formerly WhiteOps).

“Fully realizing the potential of CTV, a category that is rapidly expanding, requires transparency and a commitment to quality content, so advertisers can understand the value of what they are buying regardless of the transaction type,” says Evan Adlman, Senior Vice President of Advanced Advertising and Digital Ad Sales at AMC Networks. “We believe OMG’s CTV Signal Standardization Initiative will increase confidence in an environment that has lacked some of the core infrastructure other digital channels enjoy and help lead the charge through investment in CTV inventory across the industry.”

Summing up the call-to-action, Pagliuca says, “If we as industry can ensure transparency, safety, and the quality of consumer experiences in CTV environments, we will provide advertisers with a viable path to increasing their CTV investment – everybody wins. “ 

Additional background on the Connected TV Signal Standardization Initiative can be found here.