As companies spend more advertising dollars online, the digital marketplace has become increasingly less transparent. The platform is facing various grave issues like a non-transparent media supply chain, bot traffic, ad fraud, viewability and the most recent, the Facebook data breach. Data, which was supposed to be the Holy Grail in digital advertising, has become the most abused word in the adtech space. Is the lure of unprecedented targeting and personalisation among marketers creating a complex advertising marketplace? As per Juniper Research, advertisers will lose an estimated $19 billion to fraudulent activities in 2018 globally, equivalent to $51 million per day. On top of it, big global platforms Facebook and Google that operate as walled gardens — accounting for more than 60% of digital ad spend (industry estimates) — are not open to independent measurement of performance. “So while publishers suffer from insufficient revenues due to lack of viable means of monetising their data, advertisers get poor RoIs due to lack of accurate user behaviour data for targeting,” says Sumit Gupta, chief operation officer, Zohem, a blockchain start-up. “From the importance of pricing to the importance of quality — brand safety, ad fraud and viewability are taking the front seat, along with audience buying over placement buying,” says Vinod Thadani, chief digital officer, Mindshare. Marketers are increasingly concerned and want to know where their ad dollars are being spent. Like for FMCG major Nestlé, key concern areas for digital advertising are accountability, transparency and attribution.