The Marketing Group unveils blockchain media agency TRUTH

The Marketing Group (TMG) has launched TRUTH, the first media agency worldwide to utilise blockchain smart contract technology, in Singapore, London, San Francisco and Sydney. TRUTH was launched in response to what the press statement described as "the erosion of trust between advertisers, media agencies and media owners". Hence, it aims to offer a global brand solution for companies that want more transparency and better value.

Mary Keane-Dawson (pictured left), who joined TMG earlier this year, has been appointed the CEO of TRUTH. Adam Hopkinson (pictured left), Europe, Middle East and Africa MD of content marketing company AnyClip, will join as COO on 1 December 2017. Hopkinson will be building TRUTH's offering within the existing infrastructure of TMG, and bringing the service to current and new clients.

TRUTH will provide clients with "100% transparency", and its proprietary media buying and planning platforms ensure global best practice and complete General Data Protection Regulation compliance. The press statement added that middlemen and the layers involved in media planning and buying can easily strip 80% of the value between brands and media owners.

"By bringing blockchain technology into the media world we will build a cleaner media supply chain with 100% transparency. We want to put the client first and believe this is the best way to do that," Dawson said.

"We are entering a new dawn in data driven advertising and TRUTH will be at the heart of that. We know from our research that CMOs are demanding change," Adam Graham, CEO of parent company TMG, added. Graham was named CEO and executive director last November. Last September, TMG also acquired home-grown Addiction Advertising for SG$7.5 million as part of its expansion strategy.

The possibility of blockchain solving ad fraud issues and cutting out the middlemen has been a topic of discussion lately.

Jeffrey Seah, partner at Mettle & Salt, and venture partner at INCUVEST and Quest Ventures, said given that digital ad fraud is expected to cost brands US$16.4 billion globally this year, he said the industry needs to find a solution “before the perception of advertising changes forever”.

Blockchain, as such, can establish transparency and trust by implementing a central and secure way to record, review and execute every deal, creating a better ecosystem for both publishers and consumers, Seah said. He added that while it will not solve everything, it will take ad fraud head on.

Even Paris Hilton has jumped on the digital currency hype by announcing her participation in LydianCoin via Twitter. Her announcement made headlines globally as she put her support behind LydianCoin, a Singapore limited company, launched by Gravity4. Gravity4 utility-token, Lydian aims to provide pre-paid digital advertising services for the blockchain community, accessible by the Lydian cryptographic token, with an end goal of fighting ad fraud.