Nationwide says TV needs to learn from the mistakes of online services such as Facebook and Google and align itself with “quality” to stay ahead.
Speaking at an event entitled ‘Is targeted advertising the future of TV?’ hosted by the Royal Television Society earlier this week, the brand’s senior manager for advertising, media and campaign management, Chris Ladd laid into the digital giants multiple times throughout the session.
Ladd believes they are one of the biggest threats to TV advertising, as they could “disrupt the market completely”.
“When it comes to Amazon, Facebook, Apple or Google, with the amount of cash they’re sitting on, at any point they could come in and disrupt the market completely. They could easily come in and buy ITV,” he said.
He also criticised Google and Facebook for not sticking to BARB measurement guidelines, making it difficult for advertisers to have “one standard currency of what they are actually buying”.
The conversation then moved on to recent mistakes around measurement and unsavoury or illegal content that brands were appearing next to online.
“No one seems to mind Facebook misrepresenting their figures for the 10th time either,” said Jamie West, deputy managing director at Sky Media UK and group director of advanced advertising Sky.
Nationwide’s Ladd added: “If YouTube was a British company, the Government would have stepped in or shut them down. We’re not currently using YouTube, as it doesn’t seem right. They need to be policed, but I’m not sure if it’s possible to do so with global media players.”
If YouTube was a British company, the Government would have stepped in or shut them down. We’re not currently using YouTube, as it doesn’t seem right.
Chris Ladd, Nationwide
Ladd went on to argue that a lot of brands are still turning a blind eye to safety and measurement issues due to their fears of missing out.
“It’s difficult for media people to go to marketing directors and say: We shouldn’t be on YouTube, as they will see their families use it and wonder why they aren’t on it. So there’s a bit of human decision-making going on there,” he said.
Learning from Facebook’s mistakes
He believes the best way forward is for TV to learn from the mistakes the digital giants have made, and position itself as a “quality” and premium option, where brands are more in control of who they are targeting and gets to see their ads.
Sky’s West also believes that TV should not move to “less transparent web trading”, saying: “We need to ensure we protect the reputation of TV. We should not move to a non-transparent trading model – that’s one of my top priorities.”
Jonathan Lewis, head of digital and partnership innovation at Channel 4, believes that TV brands will ultimately have to come together to fight digital giants such as Google and Facebook, as he is “genuinely worried” about the impact they could have on the TV business.
He concluded: “There comes a point where working together will be beneficial. Whether that’s aggregation at a macro level of content or data, I don’t know. You get to a point quickly where you’re much stronger together.”