Interactive Advertising Bureau
10 July 2018

Artificial Intelligence is the next industrial revolution according to the digital advertising industry

Brussels and London, 11th July 2018 – In association with IAB Europe, Xaxis conducted a pan-European survey to understand the current and future impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on digital advertising. The results of this survey have been published in the ‘Artificial Intelligence: myth vs. reality in the digital advertising world’ report today.

The survey1 sought the views of 1,000+ decision makers across the industry including advertisers, agencies, publishers, and intermediaries.

The report identified that decision makers from all parts of the industry recognise the significant value AI can bring to achieve results across the digital advertising ecosystem.

Many respondents agreed with the statement that ‘AI will be the next industrial revolution’, with the potential to deliver instrumental change in the digital advertising industry.

However, there is work to do in terms of reliability and trust; respondents highlighted the key concerns facing AI in digital advertising as relying less on human control, and the ability to gain trustworthy insights. It’s about maintaining a positive and productive balance between AI, a human workforce, and end customers, the study found.

The key findings of the survey are:

  • 80% of those surveyed viewed AI as the next industrial revolution.
  • Almost 80% of respondents have a good understanding of AI. Intermediaries were the most confident in understanding AI with 91% somewhat or very confident. 80% of agencies said they felt confident in their understanding.
  • AI has been seen to have had a positive impact/influence on business objectives. Nearly 50% of those surveyed felt AI improved productivity and increased competitive advantage.
  • AI was seen to facilitate effective targeting and was able to enhance digital advertising objectives – right person, right place, right time. Indeed, better targeting was cited by 61% of agencies; 43% of publishers and 53% of intermediaries. Further, identifying better qualified users/audience was cited by 30% of advertisers; 55% of agencies; 40% of publishers and 42% of intermediary stakeholders.
  • Respondents highlighted the key concerns for the future of AI as relying less on human control (47%) and gaining trustworthy insights (55%).

Townsend Feehan, CEO of IAB Europe said: “A thriving digital ecosystem depends on advertising powered by innovation, creativity and efficiency. We are pleased to have worked with Xaxis on this research which highlights that the application of Artificial Intelligence in digital advertising can deliver better targeting, optimisation and business growth.

John Wittesaele, President EMEA, Xaxis said:The most powerful, and largely unfulfilled, potential of AI lies in the bigger picture, in its ability to optimise towards business outcomes rather than simple metrics."

For more information, please contact:
Leanne Mackee, Xaxis EMEA (
Marie-Clare Puffett, IAB Europe (

1 About the Xaxis in association with IAB Europe Understanding the current and future impact of Artificial Intelligence survey
Xaxis, in association with IAB Europe, conducted a survey to uncover the opinions and attitudes towards Artificial Intelligence (referred to as AI in this report) in the digital ad tech industry.

The objective was to learn how recent innovations in AI technology can impact business operations, with the goal to dispel the myths of AI and provide a realistic view of how it is being used to achieve results. It aimed to illustrate how the advertising ecosystem and all of its stakeholders including publishers, brand advertisers and media agencies are currently using AI.

The survey asked about:

  • Defining artificial intelligence
  • How is it enabling business outcomes to be met
  • Challenges faced when using artificial intelligence

About Xaxis

Xaxis is The Outcome Media Company. We combine unique brand-safe media access, unrivalled programmatic expertise, and 360-degree data with proprietary artificial intelligence to help global brands achieve the outcomes they value from their digital media investments. Xaxis offers managed programmatic services in 47 markets, including North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.

About IAB Europe

IAB Europe is the leading European-level industry association for the digital advertising ecosystem. Its mission is to promote the development of this innovative sector and ensure its sustainability by shaping the regulatory environment, demonstrating the value digital advertising brings to Europe’s economy, to consumers and to the market, and developing and facilitating the uptake of harmonised business practices that take account of changing user expectations and enable digital brand advertising to scale in Europe.

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