Digital advertising is a mess — meet 23 industry insiders working on high-profile efforts to fix it


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23 execs to know cleaning up digital advertising
Digital advertising is loaded with problems, and there’s a lot at risk. These are some of the execs trying to make things better.
Samantha Lee/Business Insider; OpenSlate, Google, JPMorgan Chase, Knotch

Digital advertising is awfully messy.

From ad fraud, murky media supply chains, and Facebook and Google sucking up all the industry’s oxygen and budgets, digital marketing has seemingly never had more minefields.

Brands are under increasing pressure to show that their digital ads are not just being seen but are effective. Brand-safety concerns have come to light on YouTube and on controversial websites such as Breitbart, while Facebook is dealing with the fallout of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and shutting down third-party data targeting.

Ad fraud continues to run rampant across sites, and marketers are increasingly questioning how companies profit from the tangled ad-tech web that underpins how digital ads are served.

On top of technology problems, ad agencies have been accused of making money from rebates, which has caused distrust between advertisers and brokers.

Suffice it to say, digital advertising is loaded with problems, and there’s a lot at risk. According to eMarketer, the US digital advertising market will reach $273.3 billion this year, up from $232.3 billion last year.

Business Insider has compiled the following list of people working to tackle these tough challenges.

This list by no means represents every person or company involved in cleaning up digital advertising. Instead, we’ve tried to include a mixture of executives from brands, publishers, agencies, consultants, and tech companies working to solve the variety of problems plaguing the industry.

Here are the 23 ad insiders to know who are working to clean up digital advertising, listed alphabetically.

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