The advertising model is 'dead man walking': Four things we learnt at ABC Interaction 2016

What does this year have in store for ad trading? This was the question being debated at the 10th annual ABC Interaction. From fraud and disruption to viewability and measurement, industry leaders share their key learnings from the day.

The advertising model is 'dead man walking': Four things we learnt at ABC Interaction

James Booth, founder and chief executive at Scoota:

"One of the clear messages delivered at Interaction was that our industry must never underestimate the importance of the consumer, and in midst of change, we must strive to find a way of delivering compelling creative that remains functional across an ever-evolving media landscape.

"The development of targeted media buying technologies has been rapid, but cross-industry agreement around delivery approaches for advertising content is vital to ensure the user experience is as enjoyable as possible before and after the ad has loaded. The ideal is then a delivery scenario where the consumer is entertained, not imposed upon, and where advertisers can once again be truly creative.

"It is clear we need to balance trading efficiently with trading safely, which is why ABC and other impartial industry bodies are essential as they exist to help the industry achieve both."

Hugo Drayton, chief executive at InSkin Media:

"ABC Interaction provided a great platform to discuss industry concerns: the value of true, bespoke creativity; trusted environments; viewability and measurement. 

"I talked about 'uncomfortable truths': consumers do not owe us attention; inconsistent measurement practices can hinder transparency; trading ‘efficiently’ can damage brands.

"Too many industry vested interests are considered above user experience. Deeper research is required to continuously improve quality. 

"To address valid concerns about ad fraud and blocking, we must serve fewer, better ads. Too many digital ads are simply re-purposed TV treatments: a tailored, relevant creative approach is essential for successful online advertising.

"Industry bodies (ABC, ISBA, JICWEBS, IAB) have important roles in guiding our businesses, but responsibility lies with us all. Most importantly, the consumer is always the heart of the matter."

John Straw, Martech Entrepreneur:

"The publishing/ad business is facing huge disruption. Traditional process and models are already falling apart and advertising in the current model is a dead man walking.

"But as the old practices die the new opportunities take up the slack. Image recognition in videos driven by AI is one major opportunity for contextual advertising beyond AdWords.

"Virtual reality will produce some amazing brand immersion opportunities where advertising is excluded. Digital manufacturing will provide the opportunity to take personalised marketing to personalised products. It's all happening now. The adoption curves will be faster than anything we've seen to date."

 John Straw speaking at ABC Interaction

John Straw, above, addresses the audience at Interaction

Simon Redlich, chief executive (interim), ABC:

"This was our 10th ABC Interaction event and in that time there has been significant change across the media industry. Within this dynamic environment, we continue to work closely with our stakeholders to innovate and develop relevant services.

"A key achievement as we go into 2016 is the alignment of ABC’s monthly media brand reporting across print and digital. Industry-agreed standards and processes allow media brands to report the full range of their activities across print and digital channels via interactive tables, with the ABC Quickview tool providing user-friendly access to a wealth of information from our database.

"To tackle prominent issues such as anti-fraud, viewability and brand safety, all of which were discussed at ABC Interaction, we collaborate with JICWEBS and other industry bodies to develop services that provide businesses with a tangible way of demonstrating adoption of industry-agreed best practice and transparency.

"Looking ahead, our priorities include new services to support industry initiatives in anti-fraud; extending our viewability programme to include video and continuing to enhance our media brand reporting.

"As we listen carefully to our stakeholders, we continue to evolve the ABC stamp of trust in ways that foster trust and transparency in ad trading."

Nick Hugh, VP, EMEA, Yahoo:

"ABC Interaction shone a light on two topics that are always at the forefront in discussions about the future of the advertising industry; transparency and trust.

Marketers understandably want transparency into ad viewability and traffic fraud to ensure appropriate return on advertising spend, brand safety and ad effectiveness. 

Impartiality is key to increasing transparency in the industry and both advertisers and media sellers should be open to third-party verification.

Advertisers should commit to only working with partners that allow accredited, third-party measurement services to complement the tools they develop in-house.

At Yahoo we work with well-known measurement partners such asDoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science, Moat, comScore.

Bodies such as the ABC and IAB are also providing valuable direction where transparency is concerned. For example, the ABC Viewability report gives clear criteria of online measuring tools, helping to define the value of media space."