Interactive Advertising Bureau


New Digital Age asked experts from all corners of the digital industry to look beyond the uncertain economic horizon, and point out areas where we can expect positive change in 2023. From the responses, it is clear that, thanks to technological advances, a renewed commitment to sustainability and an emphasis on efficiency, a brighter future for the sector is just around the corner. See our CEO Townsend Feehan’s prediction below:

“With Europe hit by its hottest summer on record, and a multitude of global natural disasters, 2022 hammered home that the time for aggressive action to cut CO2 emissions is now. With one calculation suggesting that the typical ad campaign emits around 5.4 tons of CO2, sustainability should no longer be viewed as a nice-to-have, but standard operating procedure.

“The industry’s carbon footprint is driven by a complex supply chain, with a large amount of energy consumed and emissions produced through the delivery and use of digital advertising. If the industry is to do its part to reduce this and help fight the climate crisis, then it will need to educate on, identify and enable significant efficiencies along the supply path. Thankfully, the sector is collaborating in this effort; the first step being to create harmonised sustainability standards and best practices, with specific focus on a consistent measurement framework and immediate action that all parties can take.  

“If more industry stakeholders can educate and hold themselves and their partners accountable for the emissions produced in the delivery of digital advertising, in 2023 we will see the industry move toward more agreed practical standards. This includes better measurement and overall reduction of environmental impact.”

Townsend Feehan, CEO, IAB Europe


Read more expert predictions from the series here 


IAB Europe this week signed an industry joint letter addressed to the Members of the Committee of Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament (LIBE) on the Data Act proposal and its interplay with the GDPR. The letter initiated by FEDMA was co-signed by IAB Europe, Alliance Digitale (IAB France), IAB Poland, IAB Spain and IAB Sweden and other associations representing companies from various sectors of the business community. 

As the LIBE Committee moves forward to finalise its opinion on the proposed Data Act, some provisions in the European Commission’s proposal and some amendments in the LIBE Committee’s draft opinion could have the unintended consequences of overriding the GDPR risk-based approach that would ultimately undermine the adduce goal of the Data Act of facilitating innovative uses of existing data. 

BRUSSELS, 25 January 2023 – Today, a coalition of associations representing companies from various sectors of the business community issued a joint statement on the Data Act and its interplay with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Chapter II of the proposal.  

The statement highlights that some provisions in the European Commission’s proposal and some amendments in the LIBE Committee’s draft opinion would restrict certain data processing activities even when carried out in a GDPR-compliant way.

These provisions do not only risk curbing the benefits for innovation, but they are at odds with the Data Act’s objective to empower users who should be free to decide the purposes for sharing their personal data insofar as any data sharing and processing is compliant with the GDPR.

With the GDPR, the EU has set up a modern futureproof data protection framework. Yet, the Data Act could undermine these achievements and the credibility of the GDPR.

Specifically, the coalition calls on EU legislators to:


The full coalition includes:

ACT - The App Association

AIG -IAB France - Alliance Digitale

CCIA - Computer & Communications Industry Association

EUCOPE - European Confederation of Pharmaceutical Entrepreneurs

FEDMA – Federation of European Data and Marketing

IAB Europe - Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe

IAB Poland - Interactive Advertising Bureau Poland

IAB Spain - Interactive Advertising Bureau Spain

IAB Sweden- Interactive Advertising Bureau Sweden

ITI - Information Technology Industry Council


You can read the full letter here.

In this week’s member guest blog post we caught up with David Wayne, Senior HR Business Partner at DoubleVerify.  David discusses the importance of creating a positive employee experience and shares ways in which companies can maximise their efforts. Keep reading to learn more:


Employee experience is becoming an increasingly important topic in the business world. It's directly correlated to the improvement of profitability, revenue, and employee well-being. 

But the benefits of a positive employee experience extend beyond just the company's bottom line. Our people are our customers' most important assets, and a positive employee experience can lead to increased customer results. 

At DoubleVerify, we understand that the positive experience of our employees is not just a nice-to-have, it's a business imperative. A positive and supportive work environment is crucial for attracting and retaining top talent, and for fostering a culture of engagement and productivity.

So how can businesses improve their employee experience? To create a positive employee experience, organisations must create an environment and values that personally connect with the employee, where the intersection of the individual's passions, values, and skills meet the organisation's vision, identity, culture, and brand equity. 

Growth opportunities are important, as it's incumbent on organisations to help employees improve and grow with and from their work. Organisations must develop a platform to enable positive risk, develop a framework for mental resilience training and encourage conversations that always start with positive intent. Sense of belonging is also important because it helps employees feel connected to and valued by the organisations. 

The impacts of the COVID pandemic, global recession, social injustice, and rise of mental health issues, has caused employees to shift their mindset to become more open and look for positive collaborative experiences. To meet this new demand, organisations are shaping their values to reflect a "Growth Mindset" that embraces challenges and change.

A positive employee experience can also be driven by investing in employee well-being. At DoubleVerify, we have implemented a variety of initiatives to support the well-being of our employees. From offering flexible working arrangements, to providing access to mental health support and resources, to promoting a culture of work-life balance, we are committed to creating a positive and supportive work environment for our team.

We also understand the importance of employee engagement and have implemented regular surveys to measure employee satisfaction and engagement levels, to ensure that we are providing the best possible work environment for our team.

In conclusion, creating a positive employee experience is essential for attracting and retaining top talent, fostering a culture of engagement and productivity and ultimately driving business results. At DoubleVerify, we are committed to creating a positive employee experience and we 

and we encourage other businesses to make positive employee experiences a priority.



If You Miss It, You Miss Out: EBE 2023 Agenda Released

With the E-commerce Berlin Expo being just a month away, the agenda for the event has recently been released. The one-day event will be packed with informative talks, presentations, workshops and panel discussions from notable industry players. It already appears to be the best agenda for this event that has ever been released and implemented.

Insightful knowledge hub and great networking platform is here for you! And while it might sound like an event that happens every single year, it's 2023 that brings a lot of new, fresh air to this well-established Expo and Conference.

Five stages full of knowledge

The five stages at this year's event promise to deliver insight and entertainment in spades. With a huge multitude of presentations, discussions and demonstrations on offer, there's guaranteed something for everyone. The organizers strive to be the beacon of e-comm knowledge!

The agenda was put together in a very international spirit, but with a strong local factor, too. What also pleases the eye is gender diversification: out of 70 speakers, 30 of them are female.

Let's take a look at a few spots on the agenda – just to whet your appetite:

We could be listing presentations for days - the selection is simply too broad and diverse. Make sure to check out the full agenda on Expo website, as you don't want to miss out on any session. 

The full agenda is available here:

Panel discussions are a valuable way to share information and gain insights – that’s why you’ll get quite a few of them served straight to your table this year.

Examples? Here you go!

You can learn what it's like to combine fan-based e-commerce with working with an admired brand and selling tickets in a chaotic market from the above. You'll find out what the Metaverse is, who created it, and how to become a part of it - and it's all worth the effort, as you’ll see. 


Creators of the Metaverse Fest sub-event


There's no time to get complacent, and the organizers work hard every year to surprise our audiences. As usual, this year is no different. 

During E-commerce Berlin Expo 2023, there will be a special program block dedicated to the Metaverse and how it can benefit your business.

Starting at 1:10 p.m., the Creators of the Metaverse crew will facilitate a series of talks and panels. Any time is a good time to visit their section in Hall 8!

Nothing like a panel discussion to round out this experience, right? There will be a very interesting discussion between representatives of the web3 community and Meta's representatives on stage!


Seeking more interactivity? Sign up for FREE Masterclasses

With the E-commerce Berlin Expo right around the corner, Hall 2 is going to be abuzz with Masterclasses. 

The organizers believe it is important to share knowledge for free, so the Masterclasses, along with the entire Conference, are free of charge. Simply choose the topic you're interested in and sign up on a special page to save your seat. 

There will be two tracks of five sessions each. If you come in crowds, the EBE crew will prepare more Masterclasses next year!

Space is limited, so make sure you reserve your spot today here:

See you in February


Leverage the opportunity to participate and deepen your knowledge of e-commerce: E-commerce Berlin Expo 2023 will be an amazing event that you won't want to miss!With five stages full of knowledge, Masterclasses to whet your appetite, and panel discussions, this agenda is packed with exciting topics and speakers that are sure to leave attendees with a much better understanding of e-commerce. It's a must-attend event for anyone interested in the e-commerce industry.

The EBE2023 is free to attend. Mark your calendars and book your tickets here:

 Find out more about the E-commerce Berlin Expo 2023

The E-Commerce Berlin Expo will be taking place for the seventh time on the 23rd of February, 2023, at Station Berlin. Doors will open at 10 AM, and EBE2023 is expected to welcome more than 9,000 visitors. The annual fair has become a leading e-commerce event in Berlin with representatives from Google, Meta, YouTube, Zalando, Otto Group, Amazon and Alibaba Group as past participants. Learn more at 

For further questions, reach out on


In this week’s member guest blog post we caught up with Julie Selman, SVP, Head of EMEA at Magnite. In this all-inclusive piece Julie looks at Sustainability, Privacy and Transparency. For more on what she expects from a year of ‘collaboration, innovation and transformation’ keep reading.

The new year is here and we’ve been busy at Magnite, excitedly looking forward to what we think is to come in 2023. 

The media and advertising landscape that we all navigate is ever-changing, so as part of eMpower 2023 with Magnite, I asked some of our EMEA experts to reveal their key predictions and offer some insight. 

A Greater Emphasis on Sustainability

There is a growing determination across our industry to make significant changes for the good of the planet. Over the next year, we expect to see a continuation and activation of initiatives that bring about greater awareness amongst brands and consumers. 

In 2023, consumers will place an even greater demand for the brands they love to operate more climate-consciously. There will be a stronger focus on putting ESG policies into action, enabling brands to align with consumers' expectations.

Finally, sustainability will become less intimidating as our knowledge increases, which will pave the way for significant and positive change in behaviours. 

Ad-Supported Streaming Becomes the Norm

Consumers are looking for ways to enjoy a wide variety of content while not taking on additional costs. This is clear from the sheer amount of consumers transitioning from paid-for streaming services to ad-supported ones.

Our MD, CTV in EMEA, Sam Wilson, says, ‘In the current environment, consumers don't want to give up watching quality content, but they are looking for ways to limit monthly outgoings. This shift will mean advertisers can find their audiences more easily in a premium environment in 2023.’

Sam believes 2023 will be the year of hybrid viewing. Media owners will offer more choice and flexibility through improving their ad offering, and audiences will have a wider variety of services and a better user experience. 

This transition opens a whole world of opportunities for sellers and buyers to reach audiences who were once unreachable programmatically. 

Transparency and Efficiency Will Remain Paramount

The industry is gaining a better understanding of Supply Path Optimisation and the value it brings, but there is still room to improve. 2023 will be a continuation of educating and implementation for agencies, clients and publishers.

By shifting the focus to transparency, and reducing tech partnerships to a carefully curated list,  Graeme Lynch, Head of Demand, EMEA, believes agencies and brands will benefit from more control of their own supply management.

‘A stronger emphasis on determining costs will mean an increase in clients wanting a more direct relationship with tech partners so they can drive efficient media buying,’ Graeme says.

Higher Focus on Privacy-Centric Products

The eventual deprecation of third-party cookies means the focus on finding alternatives to identity resolution is higher than ever. The development of solutions like Seller Defined Audiences (SDA) and Magnite Audience Segment, demonstrate meaningful growth in privacy-centric identity products. 

The industry has been talking about context for a while now, but with improved content classification, sessions can now be targeted with incredible detail, with reduced reliance on user data.

Pete Danks, VP of product, says, ‘I have two asks for the industry. Firstly, from the supply-side, lean into this tech. It’s important that we embrace it and work together. And for buyers, we need meaningful test budgets, because that’s what will drive success in 2023.’

There is plenty to look forward to in 2023. Sustainability will remain a top priority for the industry as a whole. The shift to ad-supported streaming services will continue, and the transparency that SPO brings will continue to benefit buyers. Finally, we can expect to see an increasing emphasis on privacy-centric products that put the power back in the hands of the publishers. 

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and successful 2023!

If you’d like to see the full library of eMpower 2023 predictions click here 


In this week’s member guest blog post we caught up with Andy Jones, Head of  UK Sales at Samsung Ads Europe. In this very exciting and informative piece Andy looks at the common misconceptions within CTV and uses his expertise to demystify these. 

In 1996, Bill Gates coined the phrase Content is King. It’s now clear just how right he was. The internet has changed everything - even the TV set.

Our TV experience is now made up of more than linear channel hopping - we go to different providers for different needs across smart TVs. Personally I use live TV for sports, YouTube for my fix of international news, Disney+ for family viewing and Samsung TV Plus for the variety of lean-back TV content. The market has changed so quickly that it is difficult for publishers, agencies and advertisers alike to keep their finger on the pulse.

At Mediatel’s The Future of TV Advertising Global event at the end of last year, I explored the current TV landscape, addressing misconceptions of TV advertising in the age of streaming.


Misconception #1 - There’s no quality content in CTV

AVOD and FAST channels do not yet have the same reputation among advertisers for high quality content. This is a competitive space. Amazon spent $432 million producing the blockbuster Rings of Power and forayed into live sports by securing rights to select Premier League matches.

But new FAST players are subverting the narrative. FAST, for those new to the concept, is Free Ad Supported Streaming TV: think scheduled content within streaming channels. Such services in Europe - which include Pluto TV and Rakuten TV - offer between 45 and 150 FAST channels across France, the UK, Germany, Italy and France. These countries have been our priority with our own FAST service Samsung TV Plus -  securing partnerships with regional broadcasters like Spain’s RTVE, allowing Spanish audiences to view La Liga matches and DAZN launching its first FAST channel exclusively for German Samsung TV Plus viewers, featuring exclusive live sporting content. FAST channels give audiences access to some of the most popular shows in the country for free. Our Samsung TV Plus service  gives Europeans free access to an exclusive catalogue of BBC programming including  giving French, German, Italian and Spanish audiences access to classic Doctor Who episodes. Alternatively, for the US TV lovers, Samsung TV Plus features America’s Got Talent and American Idol. Similarly, Pluto TV gives MTV fans the chance to enjoy some of its flagship programmes - such as Catfish: The TV Show and Teen Mom - nonstop.


Misconception #2 - It’s hard to manage ad frequency

With so many options for viewing content, advertisers are right to be cautious around the possibility of under- or overexposure. This is where the advanced targeting capabilities made possible via CTV come into play. Combining modelled data such as BARB with deterministic data, like Samsung Ads’ ACR data, advertisers get both a trend based holistic view of the market and target specific viewers who have not been exposed to campaigns via linear TV.

Innovation in programmatic on Connected TV (CTV) is continuously developing tools for improving the CTV experience for viewers and advertisers alike. The growing adoption of OpenRTB 2.6 is one example of the evolution, which likens the buying and selling of inventory to linear TV through ad podding. Podding allows publishers to deliver several ads in a single ad slot, mimicking the experience viewers are familiar with in linear TV ad break settings. It also allows advertisers to maximise ad revenue through queuing up a customisable sequence of the most relevant ads within a certain ad slot.

As more consumers make the shift away from linear to streamed content, incremental reach becomes an important tool. Eurovision exemplifies this shift. Youtube recorded a 50% YoY increase in the number of people enjoying the music through this platform in the 2022 competition compared to the previous year. Increasingly audiences are opting to stream the big ticket, live TV events rather than accessing them via traditional linear platforms.


Misconception #3 - The quality of the viewing experience is not the same as it is on linear.

Experiences are more streamlined on CTV.

The need for additional devices is declining rapidly. On Smart TVs, everything is built in the TV, for the TV. It’s like comparing a modern smartphone to a handset from the 90s - technology within TVs is more powerful than ever. Gone are the days of buffering and clunky experiences. Viewers have embraced streaming, and the simplicity of the technology in this space. And it will continue to be the job of the OEM or Operating System to aid user navigation and content discovery.

Bringing all content strands under the roof of one OS isn’t the same as linear - it actually makes it even easier and more convenient.


Misconception #4 - Ads on CTV are perceived differently to linear.

Some people believe that ads on CTV are perceived differently than those on linear channels. However, research has shown that advertising is generally viewed similarly across platforms.

We commissioned a study earlier this year with VERVE, to better understand viewers’ engagement with advertising across viewing platforms and understand if there was a difference across streaming vs linear across those five EU countries. The results showed that broadly viewers are just as likely to watch an ad on streaming vs linear – even a  little more likely to watch them on AVOD. 

Consumers appreciate the value exchange in viewing ads. A recent Seedtag report found 57% of  consumers in the EU5 are willing to watch ads in exchange for free content. In fact 58% of respondents to the survey would choose a hybrid or ad-supported model instead of a paid for service. The TV landscape is no exception.

Consumers today understand and are open to the value exchange of free content in exchange for ads, as long as those ads are relevant, which the data led approach of CTV advertising delivers.


Challenge assumptions

As an industry, we need to challenge and re-evaluate our own preconceptions.

Technology is changing the world quickly. Take the Qatar FIFA World Cup last year. The British broadcaster ITV reported its coverage was streamed 146 million times. This is 100 million more streams than the Russian FIFA World Cup in 2018. 

As Bill Gates predicted - content is king. But now we can see that data is the kingdom. The insights Smart TVs offer advertisers are shining a light on the reality of the CTV landscape - and empowering brands to get closer to audiences through these channels.





It’s that time of year again. Have your say in IAB Europe’s annual brand safety and suitability in the digital advertising industry poll. 

Since numerous high-profile incidents occurred involving ads from major brands showing up next to unsuitable content back in 2017, brand safety and suitability has become a top priority for marketers and publishers alike. 

But what tools do you find most helpful in helping to solve this problem? And which channels do you feel need more support to tackle brand safety? Have your say on these key questions and more in our brand safety poll, and enter for your chance to win a €200 Amazon voucher. 

Whilst there are lots of studies available that look at consumer views, we want to find out what is actually happening from those most in the know - Digital advertising industry experts. We want your views on how brand safety and suitability has been tackled in 2022 and what action needs to be taken in 2023 to drive the industry forward. 

Don’t miss out! The deadline to complete this survey is Friday 10th February,  and it will take just 10 minutes to complete. 

Take the poll today!

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - 12th January 2023: The Belgian Data Protection Authority (APD) has informed IAB Europe that it has validated all points of the action plan submitted by IAB Europe in April 2022 in compliance with the February APD decision. The validation of the action plan confirms the legal functionality of the Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) within the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  

Each step described in the action plan is the result of a careful assessment of which measures are best suited to meet the APD’s interpretation of the GDPR (as laid out by the APD in February 2022) and deliver extended compliance functionality to the TCF. It reflects a collaborative effort and in-depth discussions amongst IAB Europe member companies and associations, that convene in the TCF working groups to iterate the Framework to meet the expectations of the APD. 

This said, the measures proposed in the action plan stem directly from the assumption that (i) the TC String (a digital signal containing user preferences) should be considered personal data and that (ii) IAB Europe acts as a (joint) controller for the dissemination of TC Strings and other data processing done by TCF participants. Both of these assumptions have been referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) by the Belgian Market Court for a preliminary ruling, and such referral was explicitly asked by the APD itself in the course of the proceedings.  

While IAB Europe is pleased that the action plan was favourably received by the APD, it has grave reservations about the APD pre-empting responses from the CJEU which may, as a result, initiate changes to the TCF that might need to be rolled back at the end of the appeal process. Pending the proceedings before the Belgian Market Court and the CJEU, IAB Europe will take any initiative to ensure that any future developments of the TCF are sustainable and aligned with EU-level interpretations of the GDPR.  

“The validation of IAB Europe’s action plan confirms the legality of the TCF as a standard that can help digital publishers and their partners comply with certain provisions of the GDPR and ePrivacy Directive”, comments Townsend Feehan, CEO of IAB Europe. “However, it is important to bear in mind that implementation of the action plan - which IAB Europe is now being required to effect over a period of six months - would entail operating changes for TCF participants that may ultimately be found inadequate by the European Court.”  

An FAQ regarding the TCF can be found on IAB Europe’s website, here.


Welcome back and hello to 2023!

Last year, IAB Europe’s committees and task forces produced some incredible outputs including key Guides to Ecommerce and Identity, insightful research and whitepapers and the latest policy updates for the industry. 

This year we have exciting work ahead, including key focuses on channels and formats, such as  In-Gaming, DOOH, and omnichannel, as well as a continuation of all of the great and essential policy work we have achieved to date. We will also be diving into topics such as The Attention Economy, Data and Ethics, and Brand Safety to name a few. 

Our new Sustainability and Retail Media groups will also be working on important research and definitions, metrics and measurement, as well as delving into how best to support the industry in these key areas. For this and so much more get involved today! 

We have a range of committees and taskforces that every IAB Europe member can join. Below, we’ve put together a summary of our committees so you have all the information you need to sign up today!

Why join a Committee?

Being a part of a committee will help you to expand your knowledge, network and provide valuable education and guidance to the wider community. You can stay up to date on the latest regulatory affairs and public policy initiatives that promote self-regulation, best practice and industry standards. Most of our committees organise events so you have the opportunity to become a speaker or moderator at large events which bring together hundreds of industry peers. Finally, being a part of a committee means you can influence the work we are doing to drive forward the future of our industry.

What’s involved? 

Each committee has a monthly conference call with a quarterly face to face meeting. The committee Chair and Vice-Chair lead each session and proactively involve members to get the very best from each meeting. The latest projects and outputs will be discussed so members can decide what they’d like to get involved with and work on. Most committees will focus on two to three key projects each quarter which could range from producing a white paper or discussing the latest policy situation to conducting industry research and market insights. For any output you are involved with, you and your company will be cited in the report and have the opportunity to be involved in subsequent PR or events.

What Committees can I join?

Please see below for an overview on the committees you can join.

For more details on the committees with details on the Chairs, work-plans and contact details, please click here.

In this week’s member guest blog post we caught up with Michelle Urwin, VP Marketing at Skai (formerly Kenshoo) to talk about all things Retail Media.  She discusses trends seen in 2022, how we can expect the economic climate to impact retail media in 2023, where retail media sits in the path to purchase and how retail media can drive brand experiences online. 


What are the biggest trends you observed in retail media in 2022?

With investments quickly growing, retailers took the most significant steps in 2022. 

Last year, every major retailer that hadn’t yet jumped on the retail media bandwagon either launched or announced plans to launch their offering. To continue their meteoric growth in the face of increased competition, retailers are banking on a multi-pronged strategy which we saw begin to form in 2022:


Retail media goes beyond search listings. The bulk of the first era of retail media has been keyword-triggered listings in the retailer search engine results pages. Much like paid search, it enables advertisers to reach consumers who are actively researching product decisions. But, unlike paid search, where user searches determine ad volume, retail media’s keyword-triggered ads are just the tip of the iceberg for the channel. Retailers are exploring more ad formats to help marketers move earlier in the path to purchase when users are more open to being  swayed in their decision-making. 

And retailers are not just offering new ad formats, but building tools to help marketers with ad creation. Amazon Ads, announced in its October unBoxed event a slew of innovations  planned in this area. This included beefing up its Video Builder, which makes it easy for brands to create videos for their Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Display campaigns through ready-to-use, customisable templates. 


Retail media goes off-site. The treasure trove of first-party shopper data is no longer restricted to the retailer’s online store. These publishers are making moves to enable marketers to leverage their vast browser/buyer behavioural data across the web to drive them back to retailer product pages. This will also eventually extend to OOH (out-of-home) ad formats which practitioners will one day be able to purchase digitally alongside their retail media campaigns. 

Retailers are heavily pitching their display, video, and programmatic (DSP) ad formats to reach consumers who aren’t yet searching for a brand’s keywords. One of the major areas of interest for retailers to grow their off-site inventory last year was with CTV. For example, Nectar360 announced a new data partnership with Channel 4 to revolutionise advertiser targeting on its streaming platform. And as recently as November, Boots, and Tesco revealed their own partnership with UK broadcaster, ITV.


Welcoming non-product advertisers. Retailers are also pitching the channel to brands that don’t even sell products. “Endemic” retail media are ads that drive users to product pages within those online stores. “Non-endemic” retail media are ads that drive users to destinations away from the online store. They still take advantage of retailer first-party data but do not necessarily sell products within the retailer. 

An example of a non-endemic retail media campaign is an ear doctor who advertises to people researching hearing aid products within an online retailer. Clicking these ads would take them to the ear doctor’s website. 


How will the current economic climate impact retail media in 2023?

It’s hard to say precisely how the current economic situation will play out. Some experts are expecting the worst, while others have a more tempered outlook. However, marketers are already planning how to optimise their programs if and when budgets are reduced. 

How will this impact retail media? We can look back at two recent points in time for reference: the 2007 global recession and the 2020 pandemic. In both cases, marketers forced to cut budgets started with offline media, dramatically impacting spending on linear TV, print, and radio.

Regarding online media spending during an economic downturn, top-funnel ads (branding) are generally deprioritised for bottom-funnel (performance) ones. This bodes favourably for retail media, which—although it can be used across the funnel—works exceptionally well at the bottom because it’s the ad channel closest to the point of purchase. Look for advertisers to take money out of other channels and put it into retail media, which they can count on performing and has been a proven ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) winner since its inception. 

Retail media will keep on its growth trajectory in 2023. The channel is in its high-growth stage, and incremental budgets are flowing in. According to our Q3 2022 Quarterly Trends Report, retail media grew 60% year-over-year vs. Q2. Digital advertising’s most popular channels grew at about half the pace, with paid search at 29% YoY and social advertising at 31% YoY. As of September 2022, retail media is now estimated to represent 18% of global digital advertising—which represents 11% of total worldwide advertising spend.

So, even if budgets stay flat or decrease in 2023, retail media should be one of the more insulated channels within the plan.


Where does retail media sit in the path to purchase?

Retail media reaches consumers at key inflection points in the path to purchase. Although 70-80% of sales still happen offline, the reality is that 90%+ of product discovery and research happen online. And, the more expensive the sales like homes, cars, luxury goods, and high-end electronics, the more purchase research and consideration occurs. Retail media is becoming a must-do channel. 

But, of course, as a bottom-funnel channel, retail media is unmatched. And even as fast as this channel has grown, I don’t think marketers have fully grasped just how much of a game-changer it has been just yet. Marketer influence used to end at the online retailer’s homepage—completely missing the most essential part of the customer journey at the bottom of the funnel.  

Before retail media, we could address 99% of the path to purchase with existing channels. But, it’s that last 1%—within the online store—where marketing exposure ended. 


What are we missing out on when it comes to leveraging retail media as a way to drive brand experiences online and in-store?

With ecommerce representing around 30% of total retail sales in the UK in 2022, retailers didn’t hide their interest in crossing the digital gap. 

Shopper marketing has been used in physical stores for decades, with nearly $100 billion in global spending going to the channel. Many retailers are exploring retail-media-powered digital billboards/OOH (out of home) within brick & mortar stores. Brands are extremely interested in how the combination of online retail media will complement shopper marketing’s in-store promotional shelves, end caps, and other retail fixtures

This is especially true for the “omnichannel retailers” that offer both a massive footprint offline and large-scale online audiences. The opportunity to improve and monetise each customer's physical, in-store touchpoint from parking to pick up is enormous. The omnichannel retailer value proposition is unique compared to the online-only retailers as they can potentially provide rich measurement/attribution data on the relationship between online/offline advertising and sales. 

In-store retail media will enable a more frictionless ad-buying process and allows brands to quickly launch, pause, and optimise their campaigns. Given the level of agility, marketers will be able to move budgets more fluidly into the opportunity. 


Any final thoughts?

In Europe, retail media is already bigger than newspaper advertising. It will grow to €25 billion by 2026, eclipsing television advertising spending. And when you consider some of the ways retailers innovated in 2022, it’s not hard to see why some experts expect retail media to one day be bigger than paid search or social advertising. 

In our recent webinar, Daniel Knapp, IAB Europe’s Chief Economist, hammered home the importance of retail media for brands.

“We must take it seriously,” Knapp urged. “It’s no longer a ‘nice to have anymore’ for brands, but requires serious strategic engagement at the C-level to really seize this opportunity.”

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