CANNES — The tech industry sure does like to trump up certain software as the next big thing. All the while, the advertising industry, too, has been worrying that certain technological developments could cause it the mother of all headaches.

So, what’s the truth – and which of the recent trends are overblown? On a panel of agency execs convened at the Cannes Lions festival, opinions centered on two topics – viewability, after Group M said it would only buy ad impressions decreed to be 100% viewable, and ad blocking software, growing adoption of which is causing sleepless nights.


DigitasLBi international chief media officer Paul Dalton:

“When we look back through the history of the campaigns that we manage, there’s not much of a correlation between those that have close to 100% viewability and their ability to drive sales. Often, it’s different factors within the site that make it a better driver. If we were to go with 100%, we would lose strong business drivers, and we didn’t think that was a smart thing to do.”

Merkle programmatic head Mac Delaney:

“In the real world, at the speed of business, demanding 100% viewability doesn’t work. The theme that I see increasing every day is a spirit of collaboration and partnership – a true understanding of how a publisher has to improve yield. Marketers who are leaning in and understanding that are those that are going to make a heck of a lot more progress.”

Ad blocking

Mediavest|Spark ad-tech EVP Oleg Korenfeld:

“I’ve looked. (Even with) millennial males blocking ads all over the place, I have not seen one campaign target any particular target that under-delivered. If campaigns are hitting their goals, blockers are not affecting you yet. I just don’t see how that can affect our business today.”

Havas Media Group programmatic head Hossein Houssaini:

“Ad blocking is partially overblown, but it gives us a sign that we need to change something in content. Although last year (the industry reportedly) lost $20bn and this year $40bn, I haven’t seen any (correlation) in performance as well. But we need to work across the chain … Publishers have a lot of work to do. Millennials perceive media different than we do. We need to be ready for that.”


This video was produced  by Beet.TV at the Rubicon Project’s Rooftop Summit on Automated Advertising at Cannes Lions 2016.   The series is sponsored by the RubiconProject.   For more videos from the series, please visit this page.