Global brands have made major changes to how they structure their teams, their contracts and relationships with agencies and how they buy media over the past 12 months as they look to take back control of digital ad spend in response to growing concerns over issues including brand safety, viewability, transparency and ad fraud.

New research by the World Federation of Advertisers, which surveyed 35 global brands with spend in excess of $30bn, found that 65% have improved their internal capabilities over the last 12 months, for example by hiring a head of programmatic. Some 40% are developing in-house resource to help tackle ad fraud, with 34% saying they started doing this within the last 12 months and just 6% saying they were already doing it 12 months ago.

A further 23% have not yet started developing in-house resources but plan to. And while the percentage of brands that have brought their programmatic stack in-house over the last 12 months is relatively small, 18% are planning to do so, to add to the 18% that were already doing so. Some 45% have “taken more contractual control” of their programmatic spend, with 41% planning to do so.

Marketers are also increasingly stipulating in contracts that they have ownership of their data, with 38% having added this is in the last 12 months and a further 24% planning to introduce this. And 29% have added specific audit right clauses to contracts, with 9% planning to do so (53% were already doing this).

The shift to take more control comes amid a backdrop of rising concerns about the effectiveness of…