Business

Erik Gibbs

McDonald’s, Nestlé join new blockchain advertising platform

A new blockchain initiative to determine if the technology could be used in the digital ads supply chain has attracted a few more participants. The Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (Jicwebs) is a digital ad trading standards body out of the UK and is looking at whether or not the use of a blockchain will help clean up the ad space. Through their respective ad agencies, McDonald’s, Nestlé and Virgin Media have now signed up to participate in the pilot program, as well.

Jicwebs hopes to explore blockchain use for creating better transparency and increasing trust in the online advertising industry. It also wants to determine if the technology would be able to boost operational efficiency, as well as create a higher return on investment (ROI) for ad campaigns. The program is being supported by Fiducia, a tech company out of London.

According to the senior media and budget manager for McDonald’s, Kat Howcroft, “This technology offers us the opportunity to see a truly transparent picture of our investment across the digital supply chain. We are also eager to understand the potential impact that this may have on our ROI and efficiency.”

McDonald’s, Nestlé and Virgin Media are being represented by OMD UK, Zenith and Manning Gottleib OMD, respectively. Their involvement in the pilot program comes following a call by Jicwebs for participants to join this past May.

The program will run for the remainder of the year and will explore how distributed ledger technology (DLT) might help clean up the online ad space. Jicwebs is confident that other entities will sign on, as well, and, once the pilot runs its course, will publish the program’s results to the entire advertising community with hopes to roll out a permanent solution sometime next year.

Many industry-leading companies have been adopting blockchain technology to facilitate their operations. It has been seen significantly in supply chain management and Nestlé was an early adopter of blockchain when it joined a consortium in 2017 to provide better transparency for the origin and condition of food supplies. The company’s head of media communications, Steven Pollack, said of the Jicwebs involvement, “Blockchain is a new technology being tested in many diverse industries. It’s great to be one of the first brands to gain insight into its potential in programmatic.”

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