The WFA publishes its updated Global Media Charter

The WFA updates Global Media Charter

The World Federation of Advertisers has published a third update to its Global Media Charter, identifying “serious, complex, and intractable issues which will require collaboration and input from all corners of the industry.”

The document – co-written by a number of WFA members – outlines five priority issue areas within the global media ecosystem and advertisers’ unmet requirements in each.

These include: competition and plurality, measurement and accountability, responsibility and society, and people and partners.

Competition and plurality

The charter states that, as a result of market concentration, issues which impede fair competition and affect advertisers ability “to make the right decision” have become features of the ecosystem.

This includes measurement limitation, opaque supply-chains and self-preferencing strategies. The WFA says that players “operating as buyer, seller and marketplace should not be allowed to favour their own products.”

The WFA stresses the importance of fair access to data to promoting healthy competition and a sustainable media ecosystem.

The charter calls for granular and privacy-focused third-party data to be made available to accredited third-party measurement providers, so that advertisers can detect fraudulent activity and measure performance and outcomes.

It also insists advertisers should be able to use third-party media technologies of their choice to enable investment decisions.

The charter similarly encourages advertisers to support plurality when making their investment choices, and says that monopolistic market conditions “rarely yields the level of innovation desired by advertisers”.

Measurement and accountability

The WFA says that progress is being made with regards to cross-media measurement (in particular it noted advertisers’ support for ANA and ISBA’s programmes) and encourages these advertiser-centric approaches to measurement.

It says these programs count impressions in a more privacy-secure fashion than legacy techniques and should be championed and supported.

Beyond reach and frequency, the WFA identifies the goal of seeing how the technology can support other measurement interests, such as attribution, lift and media mix modelling.

The charter notes that there is frustration among advertisers about “the lack of accountability” in the programmatic supply chain and how money flows through it.

The WFA recommends the industry develop standardized terms and conditions to be implemented in all contracts along the chain.

It calls for independent third-party verification and measurement tools to be made available across all media, including emerging channels such as retail media, connected TV (CTV) and digital out of home (DOOH).

The charter also requests that media sellers enable competitive spend tracking so that advertises can assess their media spending within their competitive set.

Responsibility and society

The charter calls for standards to be enforced which limit ad loads and restrict invasive experiences for users, and that ensures data collection and usage is transparent.

It also encourages the development of more inclusive media content to make it easier and scalable for advertisers to integrate it into their media approaches.

The WFA highlights the industry should trade on “true quality and contextual signals” rather than “blindly chasing KPIs”. With this in mind, advertisers are encouraged to carry out a thorough audit of their media buying to understand to what extent they are funding quality content and diverse voices, and if they may be inadvertently funding misinformation.

The charter states that steps taken to protect brands can sometimes lead to diverse voices in content being silenced, and that brands should interrogate their brand-safety measures to balance blocking unsafe content with including these voices.

Sustainability and planet

The charter calls the climate crisis “the defining challenge faced by humanity today” and says that, while the migration of media away from traditional platforms has reduced the amount of raw material used in media production, the energy used in processing digital media impressions also poses a significant demand on the planet’s resources.

The charter asks for a common, industry-wide carbon calculation model to be established to ensure the carbon impact of media channels and formats can be ascertained across markets.

The WFA also requests that the industry to prioritise carbon reduction and allocate the resources required to accelerate change.

People and partners

The charter encourages fair and competitive remuneration to support talent retention in the industry. In particular, the WFA highlights values-based remuneration models as a way by which advertisers can adequately reward performance.

The WFA Global Media Charter asks advertisers to consider how agency pitching processes can be streamlined and made more fair to ensure respect for reasonable time lines and the number of agencies participating in the process.

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