AdLedger, IBM and Salon Media Deploy Blockchain Open Project For Advertising

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The ‘Campaign Reconciliation’ Project Leverages a Shared Ledger to Deliver on Blockchain’s Promise and Bring a Higher Level of Transparency and Data Security to Advertising

AdLedger, the non-profit research and development consortium building and implementing the blockchain standards for digital advertising, is joining forces with IBM and Salon Media for a proof of concept blockchain project centered on campaign reconciliation. The project leverages a shared ledger to deliver on blockchain’s promise to bring more transparency to advertising.

Participants seek to alleviate long cycle times, manual reporting and discrepancies that are the norm for today’s reconciliation process across what has become a complex advertising network. The project will use blockchain to improve the process by recording contractual conditions, publisher payments, and details about impressions to meet those contractual terms will be in a shared system of record that is immutable and fully auditable.

“This is not only a proof of concept for what blockchain is capable of, but how it can help companies make informed decisions about the rules and standards needed for a transparent, shared ledger,” said Christiana Cacciapuoti, Executive Director of AdLedger. “With the digital advertising industry plagued by fraud, transparency, and brand safety issues, we’re using blockchain to indicate to everyone that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

The AdLedger consortium is leading the charge for the Campaign Reconciliation project, which is laying the foundation to achieve AdLedger’s mission of establishing the rules and standards for blockchain in advertising. Salon Media is participating in an effort to take back control of its publisher inventory.

"This proof of concept will not only help publishers like us regain more control over our inventory, but it will also illuminate where inefficiencies exist within the long and complex supply chain," said Ryan Nathanson, Chief Operating Officer of Salon Media. "The shared ledger on the blockchain will act as a single source of truth creating indisputable transparency for both the brand itself and the publisher, which will aid in greater accuracy during reconciliation as well as make advertiser spend much more efficient."

Underpinning the project will be the IBM Blockchain Platform, which is built on the Hyperledger blockchain Fabric, giving a large network of partners across the industry access to a shared, immutable record of transactions in real-time. IBM will also help establish the governance surrounding the consensus models or rules by which the participants can write, access and validate data.

"The digital advertising supply chain is notoriously broken. Dimes on the dollar that are lost today can be traced back to issues with transparency and trust,” said Chad Andrews, Global Solutions Leader, Advertising and Blockchain, IBM. "To effectively work together, marketers and publishers need to know how media is purchased, how it’s being delivered and that payment is being made. Blockchain can restore confidence in digital advertising and help advertising dollars go further by creating greater transparency –providing a single source of truth –across all members of the supply chain.”

Based off feedback from AdLedger members, the initial project will measure success of the blockchain application:
1) Ease of use
2) Faster time to reveal problems with under-delivery
3) Reduction in time spent reconciling campaign data
4) Close to real-time look at campaign spend actuals allowing brands to move dollars around as necessary

The AdLedger consortium consists of founding members such as GroupM, IAB, IBM, iSpot.tv, MAD Network, Publicis Media, and TEGNA, who have joined forces to reinvent the digital advertising ecosystem.

“Digital advertising cannot continue to function within the existing paradigm. We need to start over and create a system that is, at its core, based on values and processes that will bring real value to brands, to publishers and, ultimately, to consumers,” said MAD Network founder and AdLedger founding member Adam Helfgott. “Putting a band-aid on something that’s fundamentally flawed still leaves you with a broken, outdated system.”

About AdLedger
AdLedger is a nonprofit research and development consortium charged with implementing global technical standards and solutions for the digital media and blockchain industries. The consortium is comprised of industry leading companies like GroupM, IPG Mediabrands, IAB, IBM, iSpot.tv, MAD Network, Publicis Media, and TEGNA, who have joined forces with the goal of furthering trust and transparency within the digital media space.

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Mike Gasbara
AdLedger
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