Buying television based on audiences as opposed to programming is a welcome evolution to media veteran Wenda Harris Millard. And while the term “quality programming” is in the eye of the beholder, she thinks marketers have every right to know exactly where their ads are running.

“I’ve been in the business for a long time. I never thought that demographics made a lot of sense when we were talking about broad demographics, like women 18-54,” the Vice Chairman of strategic advisory and business development firm MediaLink says in this interview with Beet.TV. “I think this notion of demographics has never made a lot of sense in many, many categories,” she adds. “I’m glad to see if fading off a little bit.”

Selling TV time by audience instead of by “literal programming” makes a lot of sense to Millard. It’s part of the evolution of the business and how people are approaching “intelligent media buying and spending. So I’m a big fan of the evolution.”

One trend she observes is programmers taking an integrated approach to this year’s TV Upfront season. “I would say most of the companies are selling online video, mobile video with their classic television.”

On the headline-grabbing issue of brand safety, trust and the reliability of media, Millard says it’s a conversation that is front and center once again. While the quality of the programming “is anybody’s opinion,” brands are justified in their expectation to know their ads are running where they want them to run, particularly in digital.

“That’s not a lot to ask, but that conversation is critical at this moment when the black box of some of the operators in digital is still out there,” says Millard.

Millard Moving to London in MediaLink Expansion

Following MediaLink’s recent acquisition by Ascential plc, Millard has just been tapped to run MediaLink’s first office outside of the United States, in London.

“This is a clear step to fast-track MediaLink’s business and further increase its presence outside the U.S.,” Ascential Chief Executive Duncan Painter said in a news release. “We are continuing to develop synergies between MediaLink and our other businesses to better serve our customers and bring additional elements to our growth strategy.”

This segment is part of a series leading up to the 2017 TV Upfront. It is presented by FreeWheel. To find more videos from the series, please visit this page.