Acxiom president of audience solutions Rick Erwin chaired a panel looking at the changing role that data is playing in advertising and why identity resolution is more important than ever in the current boundary-less advertising economy created by digital media and mobile devices.

Viacom executive vice president of advanced advertising Bryson Gordon opened by saying that transparency should go hand in hand with accountability, while Nielsen Catalina Solutions chief executive officer Matt O’Grady discussed how automation in programmatic TV buying has trumped the need for creativity and transparency, despite pretty robust standards around ad formats.

SlingTV chief marketing officer emeritus Glenn Eisen said it was the “golden age for consumers for television”, particularly due to the rise in over-the-top (OTT) services allowing buyers and sellers to target discreet consumer audiences.

While comScore Inc executive vice chairman and president Bill Livek discussed the importance of quality and multiple providers measuring in the same way, Gordon talked of how the only way to do consistent buying across all platforms was to target adults 18-49, which is unsatisfactory. However, he said if a client approached all the TV companies with a specific segment, every one would tackle it in a different way, making cross channel planning and attribution impossible.

“It’s always aspirational to have one version of the truth,” added Eisen, who found it elusive to track consumers across platforms, more so now than ever.

Talking of measurement, the panel discussed the percentage of views that were actually human. O’Grady felt that only 50% were genuine, with the number even lower for real time bids. Eisen felt only a third were fraudulent if management was done correctly, stating that television was having something of a renaissance delivering to an older audience, as you can prove that delivery is real with most millennials and early Gen Xs not watching traditional pay TV.

Gordon said this renaissance could be taken from a content standpoint and was great for driving “persuadability”, leading to much stronger ad relevance and therefore fewer ads. He continued that revenue is a by-product of great customer experiences.

It is an unbelievable time to be a consumer, according to Livek; with prices going down, customers now live in an environment where rises can’t occur due to data driven businesses. “You need to use data to say ‘how are you going to increase sales without spending more?’” he added.

All big digital publishers want to monetise and protect data with healthy product, according to O’Grady so “the door to the walled garden is open, as long as you want to listen”. While Eisen acknowledged the need to play in closed ecosystems, he also said open ecosystems must be exploited and the way to do that is through data informing how media dollars are invested, then turning that knowledge into productivity.

Discussing Amazon, the panel talked about disruption to supply chains and what that means for brands. Gordon commented that the company can’t be underestimated: “If I was running a major product brand right now, I would be scared.”

Eisen concluded “scale is a beautiful thing”.