Association of online publishers Helping media owners build better digital business

Rupert Staines, Adviva VP Europe

Rupert, one of the founders of ValueClick, joined brand-focused ad network Adviva as vice-president, Europe in 2006. He was among the speakers at AOP’s forum on maximizing your relationship with ad networks on 15 May. Members can download presentations from the session here.

Q. What are the typical examples of ‘bad practice’ amongst ad networks?
In the past, the illicit buying practices of less reputable networks have created friction with agencies and their clients. Typically, a buy that has not been monitored or vetted properly, such as through an exchange or multiple level buys, could result in campaigns being run on inappropriate content, This has happened and been widely covered in the press. Consequently agencies (with their liabilities) have been scathing in their opinions of networks that have little in the way of quality control.

Q. Do you feel IASH is the best way to regulate the industry? What improvements can be made to the group, if any?
IASH is a symbol of trust and transparency, launched to provide confidence and reassurance to advertisers and agencies. IASH has done more than any other self-regulation body in the digital space. The development of the Code of Conduct has been a thorough two year process, during which many of the issues have been resolved, culminating in the successful process audit by ABCe. Regulation through legislation is, in my opinion, an unhealthy development in any open marketplace. Successful self-regulation shows we are committed to best practice and the moral obligation we have to the end user.

Q. What are the major issues facing ad networks today?
I believe this goes for the whole industry but the lack of consistent global standards will continue to make the digital space a resource intensive medium. The key is ‘education, education, education’- ad networks within IASH are planning a number of initiatives this year from marketing materials and reports to educational events, which provide support to marketers. This is critical to underpinning our future success.

Q. What are the implications of new developments for publishers?
Networks are becoming a much bigger piece of the digital advertising pie – in fact now representing 40 per cent of the online display ad budgets or £187m (source: IAB/Pwc Adspend study 2007). All in all this is great news for publishers as it will mean greater revenues from their available ad inventory, provided they conform to the quality control that has been implemented.

Q. How might the latest trends define networks of the future?
Networks are the future - all the major internet companies, AOL, Google, Yahoo and MSN are already positioned to take advantage of the network model and are finally waking up to the fact that this is how the medium works.

Rupert spoke at the AOP Forum "Maximising your relationship with ad networks" on Thursday 15th May at the Channel 4 Cinema.

Presentations from the event may be downloaded by members here.

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