Interactive Advertising Bureau

On 27th May 2021, IAB Europe’s flagship event, Interact Online, concluded with an afternoon that explored Standards & Frameworks, as we discussed the practicalities of putting everything we have learned across the event into practice.  

Featuring speakers from DoubleVerify, eBay, IAB Italy, IAB Tech Lab, MediaMath, OneTrust, Publicis Groupe, PubMatic, Relevant Digital, Samsung Ads, Sirdata, and Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) the afternoon was split into three panel sessions, and two keynote presentations. Topics included the evolution and future of the Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF), working towards sustainable supply chain standards and new standards that we can expect to come. 

Check out the session overviews and watch the videos below. 

Panel Discussion with Audience Q&A: The Evolution and Future of the Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF)

The Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF) is the only GDPR consent solution built by the industry for the industry, to create a true industry-standard approach. But what is its current status? And how is it set to evolve and develop in the future?

This panel discussed the latest version of the TCF v2.0 and its market adoption. It explored how it is set to evolve and how the industry will need to support and help evolve the framework going forward.

Ninon Vagner, Privacy & Compliance Manager, IAB Europe moderated this panel and was joined by:

Watch the session recording here. 

Keynote Presentation: Working Towards a Sustainable Programmatic Value Chain for All - Daniel Knapp, Chief Economist, IAB Europe  

Data from SSPs is a crucial tool for publishers to succeed in programmatic; from understanding advertiser and agency demand and spend patterns, managing inventory, setting prices, obtaining information for vendor QBRs and client briefings, as a source of intelligence for AdOps and Sales, and as the foundation for ongoing optimisation. As digital advertising switches towards a cookieless world, insights that can guide a monetisation strategy are ever more crucial. In this presentation, Daniel Knapp shared how we can work towards this. 

Watch the session recording here. 

Panel Discussion with Audience Q&A: Supply Chain Standards

Following on from Daniel’s presentation, this panel discussed supply chain transparency and what we need to do to unify and standardise best practices. They explored data management and new approaches for all stakeholders to increase transparency and trust, to help solve the unnecessary trading and information sharing complexities within the ecosystem.

Constantine Kamaras, Chairman Emeritus, IAB Europe moderated this panel and was joined by:

Watch the session recording here.

Keynote Presentation: Why Standards? Shailley Singh, SVP Product Management and Global Programs, IAB Tech Lab 

In this keynote presentation, the IAB Tech Lab discussed the relevance of standards in digital advertising and their 2021 priorities, which included Project Rearc, The Transparency Center, Open Measurement, and Programmatic.

Watch the session recordings here. 

Panel Discussion with Audience Q&A: New Standards

Following on from the Tech Lab’s presentation, this panel discussed their views on future developments and standards, and what we need to do as an industry to launch these. They detailed the importance of partnerships in successfully launching and supporting standards and shared best practices on how their own organisations roll out and uphold such standards.

Tina Lakhani, Head of Ad Tech, IAB UK moderated this panel and was joined by:

Watch the session recording here.

In this week's member-guest post, we hear from Amy Arnell, Content Marketing Specialist at Didomi, as she discusses preparing for a cookieless future and why it's time to make privacy a more positive priority. 

It’s the end of the road for third-party cookies. Following Apple, Safari & Mozilla Firefox, Google announced it would stop supporting third-party cookies on its Chrome browser in 2022. Given that over 85% of online browsing is carried out on these platforms, significant change is imminent. 

Trusted companies that embed privacy considerations into their long term planning stand to benefit. Business models of those that do not stand to become increasingly challenged. 

What does a cookieless future mean in practice? 

From Didomi’s perspective, the online advertising space will now be split into two distinct categories.

The first category is one without cookies, where it will be much harder to identify a user and to track navigation across the web and across devices. 

The assumption that users are easily identifiable in their digital navigation will be gone. But, advertising won’t simply stop if you can no longer identify people. Rather, a reliance on cookies will be replaced by other techniques and advancements such as differential privacy.  

The second of these two categories does still rely on user data, but with one all-important difference. It relies on first-party data that the user has consented to providing. 

If users trust the company, they will consent to the use of their personal data. As such, the company will retain the ability to extract personal data, and, crucially, the ability to have more knowledge on its user base.

This is where Didomi places itself, as we believe that this scenario of trust illustrates the future of data collection. In our opinion, it’s time to turn privacy into something positive. 

Privacy Made Positive™

Recently, Securys Limited commissioned Kantar to survey more than 4,000 consumers across Great Britain, Ireland, France and Germany about whether privacy impacts buying decisions and brand loyalty (survey sponsored by Didomi). The results were clear: consumers care about data privacy and are willing to act if a brand does not meet their expectations. 

Over 85% of people across all countries say that they understand the meaning of personal data, and a high proportion are worried about how it is used (70% in England and France, 75% in Ireland). 

This reflects in consumer habits. Around two-thirds of consumers modify their purchasing decisions in line with supplier privacy commitments; and some 70% in GB, France, and Ireland will not buy from a supplier if they are concerned about their privacy behaviour.

Users want to be informed about why their data is being collected, and they appreciate companies with transparent data practices.

Irrespective of the technology you use, or the sector you work in, consent and preference management will be hugely important in a cookieless world. 

Didomi’s advice for navigating a cookieless world 

Get used to having anonymous users & customers. 

Technology is clearly moving in this direction, with announcements such as Apple’s iOS14 privacy features sending shockwaves across the industry.  

This might be a bitter pill to swallow. But, after consideration, you’ll find out that it might not be that bitter after all. In fact, in the long run, getting used to having anonymous users and customers will be beneficial to your company, as it will allow you to focus on the data that really matters: consented data. 

Trust and transparency will convince users to consent to the use of their personal data

The recent Privacy Made Positive™ research revealed that four-fifths of consumers believe that transparency is important for trusting a company or brand. 

Complex consent choices, painful user experience and mistrust will have a huge impact on customer behaviour. Companies should build privacy-first consumer experiences to highlight that they care about transparency. 

The end of third-party cookies will leave you totally blind to user behaviour, unless you adopt the method of “just ask”. Put your users in the driving seat. Rework your privacy policies for 100% clarity, and invest in better legal explainers.

Your ability to generate trust, and generate consent from your users will be directly linked to your ability to generate revenue. Therefore, consent rate should become a key KPI to follow. 

How can your company prepare? 

Change is imminent, and a system of trust and consent will mark the future of data collection.

So, how can your company prepare? 

Take time to understand the data you are currently collecting 

Take a step back, and reverse your way of thinking. Rather than frantically collecting massive amounts of data and then trying to make sense of it using AI or other technologies, try to understand where exactly you provide value to your customers by using their data, and focusing on this. Start investing in UX and transparency. If users know their data is being collected to provide them with a more optimised experience, they are much more likely to consent. 

Fundamentally, the logic is very simple: It’s about data quality, not data quantity. This is the biggest adjustment in mindset that the industry will be forced to adopt. 

Consider investing in bespoke consent and preference management technologies

Among the many innovative solutions, there are consent and preference management innovators like Didomi, who can help you build and maintain a powerful consent management infrastructure, creating tools for recording, storing and retrieving consent, and transmitting it to different partners when appropriate. 

Didomi builds technology to help companies put their users in control of their personal data. By doing so, Didomi clients generate valuable trust and lay the groundwork for privacy-conscious growth.

Trust will be the foundation of future data collection, and the movement from data-driven marketing to customer-centric marketing will not only protect user rights, but encourage companies to collect high-value, good-quality data. 

A cookieless world does not mark the end of data collection, but rather a new beginning. A new beginning in which privacy is made positive. 

Download the e-book for the full results of the Privacy Made Positive™ research.

IAB Europe’s first VPD of 2021 took place on 6th May and what an insightful and engaging day it was! With over 730 joining us for the biggest and best virtual programmatic event in our industry, it provided everything we needed to know about programmatic in Europe today. A big thank you to our sponsors OneTrust and AdColony for helping to make this event such a huge success.  

Featuring speakers from IAB Europe member companies and advertisers including Comscore, DoubleVerify, Index Exchange, Klarna, Rakuten Advertising, Magnite, The Trade Desk, Xaxis, and more, the event was split into a keynote presentation and four panel sessions. Check out the blog below for the session overviews and to watch the videos.

Watch the full event recording here

Opening Keynote: The European Programmatic Advertising Landscape 
Daniel Knapp, Chief Economist, IAB Europe

“First-party data is becoming increasingly relevant in a programmatic world”

The first session of the event gave an overview of the programmatic advertising landscape in Europe. 

It explored key opportunities and barriers to its success and provided a sneak preview into IAB Europe’s AdEx Report. 

Key highlights included programmatic ad spend recovery and a look into new premium formats that are becoming part of the programmatic ecosystem.

Watch the session recording here

Panel 1: The European Programmatic Advertising Landscape 

The first panel session of the event followed on from the keynote presentation to discuss the biggest trends in programmatic advertising today, and what the main opportunities and barriers are to its success. 

Lisa Kalyuzhny, RVP, Advertiser Solutions, EMEA at PubMatic moderated the panel and was joined by:

Watch the session recording here

Audience poll:

We ran an audience poll at the end of the panel to ask what channels will drive the future growth of programmatic investment. The majority of the audience felt CTV would drive the biggest growth (55%). This was followed by Mobile In-App (16%) Digital Audio (11%) Digital Out Of Home (10%) and Display (8%). 

Panel 2: The Evolution of Programmatic Advertising in a Post Third-Party Cookie World

The second panel of the event discussed everyone’s favourite word… cookies! It discussed the most up-to-date solutions and guidance on market alternatives to third-party cookies. It also explored where we are at today and what alternatives and tactics are available as we transition into a post third-party cookie world.

Alwin Viereck, Programmatic Advertising & Ad Management, UIM moderated the panel and was joined by:

Watch the session recording here 

Audience poll:

We ran an audience poll at the end of the panel to ask how prepared companies felt they were for a post third-party cookie era. The majority of the audience felt they were prepared to some extent (31%). Only 3% claimed they weren’t prepared at all. 

Panel 3: Programmatic Trading - What it Means to Advertisers Today 

As more and more advertisers look to adopt a hybrid approach to programmatic buying, this panel took the time to explore the in-house model. It looked at whether taking programmatic in-house is still popular amongst advertisers and what programmatic trading means to them today, in terms of attribution, and preparing for a post third-party cookie world. 

Moderated by Tanisha Sakhawat, Senior Business Development Director, EMEA, DoubleVerify with the following panellists:

Watch the panel session here 

Audience Poll

We ran a poll at the end of the panel to ask what the key barriers to the adoption of programmatic trading are. The majority of the audience felt difficulty in keeping up with changing technology (34%) and difficulty hiring people with the right skill set (25%) were the largest barriers. This was closely followed by difficulty in understanding the technology requirement (24%). Complexities of campaign measurement (12%) and an inability to assess data providers (5%) were also listed as key barriers. 

Panel 4: Data Protection & Policy for the Programmatic Advertising Industry 

The final panel of the day turned to our privacy experts who discussed data protection and policy in programmatic advertising. They explored what the overall sharing of data really means and outlined the latest policy developments that the industry must be aware of. 

Ninon Vagner, Pricacy and Compliance Manager, IAB Europe moderated the panel and was joined by:

Watch the panel session here


Authored by Industry Leaders from Across Europe

Provides a European-Level Overview to Brand Safety in the New CTV Environment

12th May, 2021, Brussels, Belgium: IAB Europe, the leading European-level industry association for the digital advertising and marketing ecosystem, has today released its ‘Guide to Brand Safety in CTV’ to help all stakeholders working in the CTV ecosystem maintain best practices and ensure brand safe environments for advertisers.

Today, the modern marketer is equipped with a variety of solutions for brand safety and content verification when dealing with tried and tested digital advertising formats. However, Connected TV (CTV) is a new channel, bringing new challenges. As advertising budgets continue to shift to this new medium, trust will be key to unlocking the full potential of this channel. As with every new or emerging channel, advertisers are excited, but also initially cautious. They want to know that their media investment is protected, and they want to be able to evaluate its efficacy in the same manner that they do other digital media channels. So, building great trust within the CTV ecosystem will be imperative as we continue to move forward.

As such, the Guide to Brand Safety in CTV draws on some of the key considerations to help the Digital Advertising industry navigate brand safety in the new CTV environment. The guide provides an overview of the brand safety and ad fraud market within CTV, highlighting best practices, solutions and case studies. Written by CTV experts from IAB Europe’s Quality & Transparency Taskforce including Comscore, DoubleVerify, FreeWheel, MediaMath, Rakuten Advertising, SpotX, IAB Tech Lab, and Integral Ad Science (IAS) the guide also looks at the future landscape and what the market needs to do in terms of standardisation, measurement and transparency to fully support this emerging channel.

Commenting on the guide, Graeme Lynch, VP Demand Facilitation at SpotX explains, “2021 is the year CTV advertising has reached a tipping point throughout many of the European markets. Measurement and attribution solutions are now coming to fruition enabling increased investment from advertisers to match increased audience adoption. Knowledge of the format is dramatically increasing and this new guide focusing on brand safety within CTV is an essential tool for brands and their agencies as they take practical steps to realise the full potential of their CTV campaigns.”

Speaking on the need for transparency in CTV, Dan White, Group Director, EMEA at DoubleVerify said "With many people staying indoors over the past year and streaming services becoming ever more popular, consumer behaviour has drastically shifted to enable CTV to reach new heights. So, while advertisers are bullish on CTV, there are some hesitations when it comes to fraud, brand safety, and measurement in the space. As ad verification companies like DV continue to create transparency into CTV supply, advertisers will be able to unlock the full potential of the channel.”

Emmanuel Josserand, Senior Director, Agency, Brand and Industry Relations at Freewheel echoed these comments saying, "We’re seeing a big shift with connected consumers now accessing content through IP delivered mechanisms. The rise and unique opportunities offered by CTV means that it has become a highly coveted marketing channel but unfortunately, it has also attracted organisations that threaten the integrity of the medium, to the detriment of legitimate players,” said Emmanuel Josserand, senior director of brand, agency and industry relations, FreeWheel. “Of late, CTV platforms have seen an uptick in such activities and various quality challenges. It is absolutely critical for marketers and the ecosystem as a whole to ensure the appropriate processes are in place to provide a brand safe and transparent environment. This guide is a must read for all marketers trying to navigate brand safety in this exciting, new connected TV universe’’

Commenting on why CTV is a key priority for IAB Europe, Helen Mussard, CMO at IAB Europe said, "Over the last 18 months, from our own studies we have seen a surge in interest in the CTV environment. To fully enable investment to follow and for CTV to be able to successfully scale across Europe, IAB Europe developed a dedicated work track to encourage education, confidence, and investment in the CTV market. This latest guide follows on from IAB Europe’s Guide to Connected TV that was released in June 2020 and IAB Europe’s Guide to the Programmatic CTV Opportunity in Europe, released in April 2021.

Interested stakeholders can expect to see more CTV-related guides this year which will delve deeper into targeting and measurement. We are very grateful to the support of our members for their collaboration and expertise in making all of this possible.”

Download the Guide here.

In this week’s member-guest post, we hear from Igor Gubin, Region Manager Europe at Admitad Affiliate Network, as he shares their latest research into paid search and affiliate programmes and how they have boosted textile industries. 

In times of crisis, companies start to pay extra attention to their spending. As paying for clicks gives way to solutions that support ROI, the role of affiliate marketing continues to grow. Has it worked well for apparel in a challenging 2020? And which publishers have been able to benefit? Admitad Affiliate and SimilarWeb conducted a joint report to investigate these questions. Here are some insightful answers below.

More traffic

Traffic to the top 500 global Fashion & Apparel e-commerce sites grew 33% between January-March in 2020 and the same time period in 2021. Most of these impressions were brought by Social Media (Youtube, Instagram) and coupon sites. Paid traffic remains one of the most important channels, as well as display advertising and affiliate marketing.

Continued growth in influencer marketing 

In 2021, we expect to see continued growth in influencer and social media activity and sales across a variety of industries, not just apparel and footwear. 2020 was quite a challenge, but things are beginning to look up. The affiliate will play an important role, so we expect more publishers to prefer percentage-based rewards. For advertisers, we believe even more industries will begin to turn to performance marketing now that even cars and homes can be purchased online. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) will also look for growth and will find it with affiliate networks developing businesses of all sizes.

Value for money

In the YoY change in traffic to the top 500 global Fashion and Apparel sites from 7 key acquisition channels, such as organic search or social ads, paid search appears to be a big focus for Fashion and Apparel sites, with a 62% increase in traffic. Display ads and Social grew by 22% and 12% respectively, while email traffic sources grew by just 1%.

It's a long-term game

There are many pitfalls for newcomers to performance marketing, but the most common of these is the expectation of immediate results. Even if your affiliate marketer is kind enough to provide you with a responsible account manager, it still takes time to get your program known to publishers, adjust compensation rates, etc. These things take time, so the key to success is realising that you're playing a long game - an essential understanding for every business  - and thus, you can adapt your long-term strategy to the volatile market requirements using flexible and measurable earning models.  

However, the balance of power is slowly shifting: as more SMBs become more willing to handle campaigns themselves, they will also be able to take advantage of various tools and platforms, with all the pros (transparency in measurement and fair payments) and contras (long time needed for a campaign concept and realisation). 

Want to find out more and get extra value from your affiliate channel? Take a look at Admitad Affiliate’s Academy for useful affiliate marketing content and free courses, and contact me if you need any specific insights. The full version of the AdTech report is available here.



On 29th April, IAB Europe hosted its first Virtual CTV Event of 2021. 

The event was created to further explore CTV as a key, emerging digital advertising channel, and with over 480 attendees was a huge success.  

Featuring a series of panel discussions and market deep dives from IAB Europe and IAB Europe member companies, the event dived into market developments and differences across Europe, explored the programmatic opportunity for CTV, and looked at user consent and privacy within CTV campaigns. 

A big thank you to our partner OneTrust for helping to make this event possible. 

In this post, you will find an overview of each of the sessions covered, as well as video recordings for you to view in your own time. 

Watch the full event recording here

Opening Keynote: CTV Advertising in Europe: How is the Market Shaping Up Post-Pandemic? Daniel Knapp, Chief Economist, IAB Europe

“Connected-TV (CTV) will benefit from a privacy-first advertising world”

The first session of the event gave an overview of the potential available for CTV advertising in Europe. It looked at recent research undertaken by the industry to better understand adoption, consumer habits, and future trends of this emerging channel. 

Watch the session recording here.

Panel 1: CTV Definitions, Developments and Differences Across Europe 

The first panel session of the event discussed the latest developments helping to shape the CTV landscape. The panel outlined the differences between OTT and CTV and shared insights on buying habits and trends across the different European markets.

It also explored what needs to happen to pull together a very fragmented landscape and to increase scale.

Louise Dixon, Strategic Partner Lead, Google moderated the panel and was joined by:

Watch the session recording here.

Panel 2: The Programmatic Opportunity for CTV 

Following the recent release of IAB Europe’s Guide to the Programmatic CTV Opportunity in Europe, the second panel session of the event dived into this topic in detail. Taking a European level focus, the panel discussed the CTV programmatic supply chain and the programmatic options that are currently available to advertisers. 

Sharing best practices on how to plan and operate a CTV campaign programmatically, the panel discussed targeting, brand safety, and ad fraud. 

Jaden Grant, EMEA Client Services, IPONWEB moderated the panel and was joined by:

Watch the session recording here.

Audience poll:

We ran an audience poll during the panel to ask what the biggest barrier to enabling programmatic CTV advertising to scale in Europe is. The majority of the audience felt measurement was the biggest restriction to success (50%). Whilst almost 40% felt market adoption was the biggest barrier. Ad fraud and viewability were next on the list at 4% each with brand safety also proving to be a cause for concern at 3%. 

Panel 3: Measurement & Return-On-Investment (ROI)

The third panel session of the event unpacked some of the challenges and solutions to CTV measurement and ROI. It explored how success can be measured for a CTV campaign and looked at what KPIs exist and what the typical ROI is. 

This panel also shared best practices and their ideas on how the industry can move forward to better measure campaign success in this channel.

Paul Goode, SVP Strategic Partnerships at Comscore moderated this panel and was joined by:

Watch the panel session here.

Panel 4: User Consent & Privacy 

The final panel of the day turned to our privacy experts who discussed how user consent is collected for CTV campaigns and if the practice is universal. They also discussed user consent and privacy best practices with a focus on targeting approaches and data management.

Ninon Vagner, Pricacy and Compliance Manager, IAB Europe moderated the panel and was joined by:

Watch the panel session here.


UK media quality impacted amid turbulent times, according to the Media Quality Report H2 2020 by Integral Ad Science (IAS). In our member guest blog post, we spoke with Nick Morley, EMEA Managing Director at IAS on the performance and quality of UK digital media. 

Nick Morley leads the strategic development of the EMEA business at IAS, a global leader in digital ad verification. He has a proven track record in launching and scaling high-growth businesses across Europe, with a decade’s worth of digital advertising industry experience. 

It’s undoubtedly been a year that has transformed the digital advertising landscape. Consumers and the advertising industry at large, have shifted their focus toward digital in 2020 and media quality took centre stage in driving performance and enabling brands to forge better connections with consumers. 

The latest Media Quality Report at IAS provides global benchmarks for viewability, brand safety and ad fraud across digital environments and formats, based on trillions of data events analysed each month worldwide that ran between July 1 and December 31, 2020.  

An increase in UK brand risk 

During an unprecedented year, UK brand risk increased across all media environments in H2 2020. Brand risk on desktop display rose 3.2 percentage points from H2 2019 to reach 5.8%. This represents a level of risk the UK has not seen since 2017 – a year defined by tragic domestic events and brand safety scandals. When comparing 2020’s brand risk levels to previous years, it’s clear that political and societal movements drove greater risk in online content. 

Data shows that the increase of impressions flagged as posing a risk to brands was driven by a rise in adult, hate speech, and violent content. When looking at total impressions flagged as posing a risk across all environments in the UK, six in every 10 were related to content around illegal drugs, alcohol, or violence. 

Carefully targeted strategies 

Rather than a blanket approach to blocking online content, brands looking to navigate the ever-evolving digital environment should take a nuanced approach, considering the context and sentiment of the content alongside which they advertise. For example, not all pandemic-related content is negative or harmful to a brand, so advertisers needn’t miss out on opportunities to interact with engaged audiences by inadvertently blocking high-quality, contextually suitable publisher inventory.

Anti-fraud technology reduces wasted media spend

With consistent use of anti-fraud technology, ad fraud levels in the UK decreased in all digital ad environments throughout H2 2020, except for desktop video, which increased by 0.1 percentage points. 

In contrast, advertising campaigns that did not use optimisation tools and strategies encountered fraud levels up to 11 times higher than those optimised against fraud. It’s imperative that brands looking to navigate the ever-changing media landscape utilise partners and technologies that are able to minimise the risk of investment being wasted on fraudulent impressions. 

UK viewability continues to rank above global average

The wider adoption of the IAB Tech Lab’s Open Measurement Software Development Kit (OM SDK) has been a huge boost for the industry. Viewability within the mobile-app display environment increased 4.2 percentage points YoY to 72.9% in H2 2020, increasing the ability for digital ads to be seen by consumers. However, viewability levels slightly decreased across other media environments due to more digital content consumption, increased demand and constraints on high quality ad inventory during the busy holiday period.

Our Media Quality Report also found that as consumers have spent more time with digital content across 2020, the average time that ad content is in-view has increased, providing UK advertisers a greater opportunity to engage with their audiences. Time-in-view increased YoY for desktop display from 20.11 in H2 2019 to 21.34 seconds in H2 2020, and for mobile web display from 14.84 to 15.68 seconds over the same period.

A global outlook

As we look ahead, it’s important to understand how media quality is impacted by global events and technological shifts around the world. The Media Quality Report leverages this database to reveal global performance metrics and offer an industry barometer against which ad buyers and sellers can benchmark the quality of their campaigns and inventory. The MQR is just one of the many ways we continue to provide greater transparency throughout the digital advertising ecosystem.

To find out more about how advertisers and publishers can utilise these insights to improve media campaigns, download the Media Quality Report here


Authored by Industry Leaders from Across Europe

Provides Valuable Insights, Key Considerations, and Best Practices for Programmatic CTV in Europe

29th April 2021, Brussels, Belgium: IAB Europe, the leading European-level industry association for the digital advertising and marketing ecosystem, has today released its ‘Guide to the Programmatic Connected TV (CTV) Opportunity in Europe’ to help planners and buyers of media understand and navigate how CTV can operate programmatically. 

Following on from IAB Europe’s Guide to Connected TV that was released in June 2020,  the new guide takes a deeper dive into this emerging channel, providing a European-level overview of the CTV programmatic supply chain and the programmatic buying options available to advertisers. The guide also addresses the challenges that planners currently face, with some key considerations and best practices to ensure programmatic CTV investment is being optimised and used effectively. 

The European Connected TV (CTV) market has skyrocketed in recent years. Where the worlds of TV and digital have been gradually merging over time, more and more consumers have been tuning out of traditional linear TV options and moving into online streaming, paving the way for the CTV phenomenon. In Europe, CTV presents a huge opportunity for advertisers to reach engaged audiences with the right message. Recent findings from Magnite’s ‘CTV: The Future Forward - EU5 consumer research found that 71% of viewers prefer streaming to broadcast. However, the European CTV ecosystem is a diversified collection of markets all at different stages of CTV growth. Each country has its own unique definitions, group of CTV apps, plus differing offerings from broadcasters. For the CTV market to reach its full potential in Europe scale is key, and for that to happen programmatic CTV needs to be adopted.

Commenting on the role that programmatic advertising can play to help scale CTV across Europe, David Goddard, Chair of IAB Europe’s Programmatic Trading Committee & Senior Business Development Director at DoubleVerify said “Programmatic ad selling has numerous advantages, such as offering a centralised approach to CTV buying, providing scale, and a unified view of data in real-time. However, buyers and publishers need to firstly understand how it operates in order to capitalise on the programmatic opportunities for CTV in Europe. The guide, written by experts from across the programmatic CTV landscape, perfectly describes the market setup, key stakeholders and operations. It focuses on what industry standards should be adopted in order to enable scaled CTV monetisation and advises how to tackle industry challenges such as: fraud, viewability, brand safety and how demanding greater transparency is critical to support future investment and ROI on this emerging channel. We encourage all industry stakeholders to read this guide to help maximise their opportunities”.

Austin Scott, Head of Video Market Development at Xandr echoed these comments saying “CTV has the potential to achieve reach on par with traditional TV but offers efficiencies and relevancy that is associated with programmatic when it comes to planning, audience-based targeting and measurement. As with anything new, there are challenges to be solved alongside the opportunities, so brands and agencies need to understand how to navigate this landscape to capitalise.”

Also commenting on what buyers should consider for their programmatic CTV campaigns, Jaidev Kakar, Director, Advertiser Solutions CTV / OTT (EMEA) at PubMatic said “CTV is an important part of building brand awareness with new audiences and driving performance with target consumers. In many of the European markets, the education and awareness piece still needs to be worked on. The technology really must work seamlessly and provide a TV like experience which is important to the consumer, the publisher and the buyer. Think about the technological solutions that you will need in the future and start building now. Choose partners with a heritage in the programmatic space, as this is where the market is moving.”

This guide has been developed by experts from IAB Europe’s Programmatic Trading Committee. Contributors to the guide included Criteo, Didomi, Finecast, Google, IAS, Magnite, Oracle Data Cloud, PubMatic, Rakuten Advertising, SpotX, IAB Tech Lab and Xandr. Commenting on the importance of the guide Glenn Perera, Director, Product Strategy EMEA, Integral Ad Science (IAS) said “With CTV in more homes than ever before, we are witnessing a huge growth opportunity of programmatic advertising within these environments. IAB Europe’s Guide to the Programmatic CTV Opportunity in Europe is a vital resource that identifies the growth of CTV programmatic advertising, best practices and how marketers can tap into these opportunities. We’re excited to have contributed to the guide as there’s a huge appetite for CTV related education and awareness in the market along with honing the standardisation and unified measurements of ad campaigns so that marketers can continue to invest with confidence.” 

Steve Wing, Head of EMEA at Magnite also commented on the guide's importance saying, "Europe is undergoing a seismic shift in how its people are consuming content - CTV growth trends have accelerated through 12 unique months, and this presents a rich advertising opportunity. IAB Europe's Guide to CTV is built on the collaborative intelligence across some great companies, and is a fundamental piece to gaining an understanding of this exciting area and how to harness the power of CTV."

2021 is a key moment for the industry to reflect on the past decade of digital advertising and channel lessons learnt into the development of the CTV ecosystem. A call for action within the guide is for transparency, measurement and brand safety to be prioritised and for all players to be accountable and responsible for building on these principles in the future. IAB Europe will continue to work with their members in 2021 to uphold and build on these principles.

Download the Guide here 


In this week's member guest post, we hear from Edouard Lauwick, Senior Vice President, Southern Europe at Rakuten Advertising,as he shares his views on the importance of context and creating the right 'moment' in advertising strategies. 

Imagine that you’re settled on the couch in front of an exciting movie, glass of wine in one hand and popcorn in the other. You’re enjoying a night at home after a long week at work, in a moment of pure escapism. The break arrives and an ad for a sporty new car captures your mood perfectly…the one for the toilet bleach less so, even though you’re only metres from your bathroom. You’re not in the mood to think about cleaning.

For the advertiser, both of these ad placements might cost the same, but one was almost certainly more effective than the other. As a ‘data point’, the individual on the couch is the same, but the context makes all the difference. As such, while demographic is an essential factor in planning an advertising strategy, it shouldn’t always be the sole dictator of it. 

Advertisers need to understand where their audience is throughout the day, understand them as a person and consider the context they’re in when they want their message to resonate. 

Weaving this into an advertising strategy involves elevating them to a concept – the Moment – which encapsulates the role they play. In understanding Moments, budgets become vastly more effective, and the resonance increases significantly. They’re ignored at peril. 

Context makes the Moment

We’re all different people at different times of the day, and our emotional (or rational) state reflects this. This can be kicking back with a coffee, taking a walk, or staring out of the window wondering what to buy your partner for their birthday. 

However, each of these can also involve media consumption: watching the rolling news with that coffee; video calling a friend during that walk; and browsing online for that birthday treat. They all, therefore, become Moments, none of which are actually momentary.

A Moment doesn’t have to be fleeting. It’s how long and how deeply we are involved in an act over a period of time.

The opportunity in advertising strategy

Advertisers need to be part of these Moments alongside the audience because brand loyalty is increasingly driven by a shared set of values. Brands must demonstrate how much they align with their audience’s lives – be they professional or personal.

Connecting with the audience in the context of the Moment multiplies the impact of the message. It brings emotional understanding to what would otherwise simply rely on broad demographics – a depersonalised and detached approach to recognising individuals as people. 

We’ve created a new report which helps advertisers understand the concept of Moments, and how to use them strategically in campaigns. The report examines the different Moments that occur across Rakuten Advertising’s media properties, and how brands and agencies can utilise them to reduce wasted ad spend. Connecting in the Moment: A guide to key media ‘Moments’ and how advertisers can use them’ can be found here. Never be in the wrong Moment again.

In this week's member-guest post, we hear from Igor Gubin, Region Manager Europe at Admitad Affiliate Network, as he delivers his views on big data and why we need to find more ethical and legal approaches to it. 

Why Data is Key - the Past, the Present, the Future

To discover what lies behind the growth, it's key to consider the dynamic. Historical data is quite insightful to see how your brand is evolving over time. The context is essential too, as it provides perspective and allows you to make strategic decisions. Lastly, to complete the story and add depth to your context, you have to consider the current climate. 

However, as the amount of data becomes overwhelming, new challenges arise — are the data bearers happy to share what they do, online and offline? How can one make sense of this much information? 

Online marketing is unthinkable without “big data” these days — the large data sets are used to discover hidden trends and patterns. Or in behavioural marketing, to analyse the customer journey from exploration to sale. Cookies played an important role too as this journey became “restorable” and trackable thanks to the cookie files dropped by various sites to the user's browser.

The Limitations

The pre-GDPR market was a primordial soup of data where next to anyone could recover a user's route without their consent. It wasn’t just every website you visited that had access to some of the browser history — it could be anyone they shared it with, knowingly or not. It took a few major data leaks to make governments realise the progression of disaster. Hence, privacy laws and browsers blocking third-party trackers. 

Tracking, the bread and butter of affiliate marketing, has undergone significant changes in both strategic approach and practice of how to use collected third-party data to run affiliate businesses. As you read this, tracking links stop dropping cookies to the affiliate network via redirect sites used to traverse from publishers to advertisers. Browsers detect attempts to record non consented cookies and prevent them. Best case scenario? Advertisers can’t trace orders back to publishers. Worst case — the users don't even get to the store in the first place.

What Browsers Do

Firefox and Safari already block tracking cookies by default, and not only has Google's Chrome browser joined the third-party-cookie-blocking fray, the search platform keeps announcing that it will not roll out alternative user-level ad identifiers to replace third-party cookies. The big question on all our minds is what marketers and advertisers will do without third-party cookies? 

Early March 2021, Google provided the long-awaited answer: the replacement for third-party cookies is first-party data. Google announced that it will not implement alternative user-level identifiers to replace third-party cookies. Surely, Google has a wealth of first-party data, or data it collects from users directly, to target ads on its own publishing platforms. This is great within the walled gardens of Google, but other publishers may feel left out.

What Does This Mean for Advertisers and Publishers? 

Today, brands have a plethora of data on each customer — purchase data, email engagement, device information, etc. Not just historical, but also real-time behavioral data regarding interaction with websites, carts, products and categories visited while browsing. Failure to track customer choices could lead to incorrect assumptions about customer behavior, and thereby cause badly targeted marketing campaigns, wasting budgets and frustrating users.

What both brands and consumers really want is a balance between personalisation and privacy. A Harris Poll survey revealed that 63 percent of consumers expect personalisation “as a standard of service.” But they also deserve to have the choice to be tracked or not, to get a personalised experience or not, and to see ads or not.

If marketers focus on making advertising more relevant and less invasive, consumers will likely see the value of it and choose to allow it in their digital lives. No one wants to see frustrated users seeing the most irrelevant ads. But even less people want to be asked every time they search for their grocery supplier next door or read their favourite online media, whether they accept cookies.

For the last 25 years, Marketers have relied on third-party cookies to track consumer behaviour online. Nearly all AdTech and MarTech platforms use cookies for targeting, retargeting, display advertising, and behavioral marketing in general. 

But now, that’s all changing.

Smart cookie-blocking technology led by Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) and Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) now block third-party cookies by default.

2020 then kicked off with Google announcing that it intended to change the way ads are targeted online. Its goal of making third-party cookies "obsolete" by 2022 subsequently brought about one of the most significant shifts for the online advertising industry.

Now one year on, there is still much debate around how the ‘post-cookie era’ will affect future business models in the digital advertising industry and what alternative solutions are being developed.

IAB Europe released a guide back in May 2020 to help brands, agencies, publishers and tech intermediaries navigate the shifting landscape. As solutions have evolved over the last twelve months, the Guide to the Post Third-Party Cookie Era has been updated to provide the most up-to-date guidance. 

We caught up with some of the contributors of the guide to find out what the biggest developments are to date, to understand what the market alternatives to third-party cookies are, and what the future holds for a post-third party cookie world. 

Q1. Since the first guide was released in May 2020, what changes have you seen, and what have been the biggest developments?

“Some of the most significant changes have come via with the launch of as an open-source, public first-party ID and the assumption of the PubCommon identifier, folded into the SharedID footprint.

Apart from, there continues to be significant movement within the W3C groups debating Google Chrome's Privacy Sandbox proposals. Several AdTech companies have contributed counter-or-complimentary Sandbox proposals, all of which have been discussed at length within the W3C. Among these proposals, the acknowledgment on Google's part of the necessity of a server-side trusted third-party entity within the Sandbox environment is most notable, as this is a meaningful departure from the original tenor of the Sandbox proposals.

The recent announcement of the Fledge testing framework for TURTLEDOVE is being followed with great interest by all stakeholders.” Garrett McGrath, Vice President of Product Management, Magnite 

“We’ve really seen an acceleration of so many of the topics discussed in the guide, most notably the introduction of authentication-based solutions like Unified ID 2.0. These solutions will be absolutely critical in helping publishers monetise while continuing to drive results for advertisers in a post-cookie world. 

Google also made a recent announcement highlighting their response to other industry efforts to replace the third-party cookie. The announcement certainly has a direct effect on every aspect of the advertising ecosystem, but our primary focus remains to ensure that whatever replaces the third-party cookie improves consumers' privacy protections.” Sara Vincent, Senior Director of Strategic Partner Development, Index Exchange 

Q2. In the new edition of the guide, the number of solutions to the third-party cookie has quadrupled. What is your take on what the industry has developed over the last six months? Are we any closer to having it all figured out by 2022?

“While it is certainly true that the time is now to be actively building and testing solutions for a third-party cookieless future, I think it is important to note that we don't view January 2022 as a drop-dead moment in time.  

That being said, we've certainly seen an explosion in the number of "universal" ID solutions.  Many are purpose-built for specific demand, some address authentication, some certain regional attitudes, and many are attempting to simply be a cookie replacement. Overall we believe that identity in the new internet should be a community asset, completely open and transparent, and not run by a for-profit entity.  

By 2022 and beyond we'll no doubt have a (hopefully relatively small) variety of solutions that collectively should address authenticated users, non-authenticated/first-party identifiers, and the eventual production inputs from the Privacy Sandbox proposals.” Garrett McGrath, Vice President of Product Management, Magnite 

While it is certainly going to take a lot of work and industry-wide collaboration, I do think the industry will eventually be prepared for a world without third-party cookies as it continues to prioritise addressability, measurement, and consumer privacy. We know there is not going to be a singular, catch-all solution for successful monetisation in a post-cookie world, but I’m encouraged by the general direction of the industry and the solutions that have emerged to date. Sara Vincent, Senior Director of Strategic Partner Development, Index Exchange

“In recent months we've seen a wave of innovation as the industry has looked to build new Unified ID solutions to make up for the loss of third-party cookies. However, the issue remains that outside of first-party cookies there hasn't been a viable solution for the non-authenticated, "open" web.

I think many in the industry will look to telcos as a solution to this challenge, as telcos' networks provide a rich source of information that publishers can use to verify their users securely and safely. Enabling first-party identifiers that are verified on a per publisher basis in this way will strengthen the case for them to be used as a long-term replacement to third-party cookies. 

However, it is important that data is not then distributed down the bidstream and tied to session-based identifiers, as doing so would only lead to exponential data growth or the survival of the fittest. It's therefore important for first-party data holders to agree on a dynamic ID for data activation. This would address the challenge of scale by enabling a standardised taxonomy across publishers that are activated on a per-publisher basis.” Tanya Field, CPO, Novatiq

Q3. There has been an influx of ID solutions coming to the fore, how can stakeholders identify and select partners?

“Identifiers need actual adoption by buy-side platforms; the degree to which this is true today varies greatly. Publishers should focus on how identifiers are generated and what level of control they have over them, with a special note to pay attention to the use of fingerprinting as not acceptable, i.e. the use of browser/device signals to infer linkages between first-party identifiers.” Garrett McGrath, Vice President of Product Management, Magnite 

“Since thriving in a post-cookie world is going to require a multi-pronged strategy, publishers should be asking themselves who are the buyers that they trust and what are the Identity solutions and partners they’re leveraging.

Publishers have to understand what works for them, what works for their readers and users, and then experiment with different ways to earn their audience’s trust and obtain consent and authentication from there. They must think about the various touchpoints for their audience — newsletter subscriptions, comment pages, etc. — and think about how they can use this information in a way that’s going to resonate with and benefit the end-user.” Sara Vincent, Senior Director of Strategic Partner Development, Index Exchange

“There are a growing number of IDs on the market. My view is that no one solution will offer a panacea to the digital advertising industry's needs. Rather, it is likely that the industry will coalesce around a mix of solutions that will jointly provide the capabilities publishers and brands require ahead of the 2022 deadline.

In my view, it's likely that first-party IDs, owned and maintained by publishers, will emerge as the primary means for achieving audience addressability at scale, with Unified IDs playing a significant role in measurement, attribution and other areas of the value chain. First-party IDs make sense for audience addressability because they give publishers complete control of their data and consent management. This data can then be activated using a transient ID in collaboration with telco partners that ensures no data is distributed in the bidstream.

Stakeholders realise that the writing is on the wall for browser-based or device-based signals, as the expectation is that anti-fingerprinting measures will increase. Verification seems the right path forward as it's highly secure, consent-driven and pseudonymised. As a key part of a broader ID ecosystem it will have an important role to play.” Tanya Field, CPO, Novatiq  

Q4. In terms of contextual solutions, what developments and adoptions are we seeing in this space?

“There are a number of interesting developments that can be seen with contextual targeting capabilities. There is now the ability to use data integrated into programmatic buying platforms to not only avoid bidding on fraudulent impressions and target more viewable impressions but also to avoid unsuitable content and target towards brand suitable content. Contextual targeting allows advertisers to reach their desired audience without the use of third-party cookies.  

Contextual targeting will achieve scale for advertisers in 2021. We are already seeing a pick-up in the adoption of contextual targeting as it does not require any heavy underlying tech on the DSP or Publisher side. 

The technology relies on sentiment and emotion analysis done by ML/AI and is also independent of audience tracking data such as cookies. Hence, it allows a smooth and easy transition while still being effective on ROI of campaigns and aligned to brand safety & suitability priorities.” Nick Welch, Programmatic Director, Northern Europe, Integral Ad Science

"In the last year, there have been many developments when it comes to context, transforming it from its more traditional form based on keyword relationship to more advanced solutions for targeting purposes. For example, we’re quite excited about video content recognition which opens an even broader landscape of targetable inventory. On top of that, there is definitely more maturity when it comes to marrying both contextual and measurement technologies, or what some people call contextual analytics. In many cases, this convergence can lead to new discoveries – such as insights that uncover surprising contextual environments that ultimately deliver performance compared to the more obvious, standard segments. This combination offers a fertile ground for strategies for both prospecting and conversions." Carlotta Zorzi, Enterprise Brand Partnerships, Oracle Data Cloud

Q5. What are your predictions for the future and how do you see solutions developing over the next 12 months?

“While the transition period will no doubt be a little rocky, we should focus on the truly unique opportunity to re-make not only our industry but the entire internet into a more effective, privacy-forward, and most especially user-centric system. These changes should be seen as a very positive opportunity.” Garrett McGrath, Vice President of Product Management, Magnite 

“I think we’re going to continue to see the rise of a few prominent solutions that buyers and publishers have been willingly testing in recent months. I’m hopeful that we’re also going to see greater collaboration across the board, as well as industry adoption of authentication-based solutions.” Sara Vincent, Senior Director of Strategic Partner Development, Index Exchange

“Looking to the year ahead, the industry needs to focus on the resurgence of publishers - and that means cracking the delivery of first-party data to the ecosystem. I believe this need will drive engagement by telcos to help deliver a verified ID solution. Telcos have the network view to enable cross-device audiences on the open web, and have every reason for wanting to take part, given the significant benefits that would accrue to both the industry and their businesses through offering such services.”  Tanya Field, CPO, Novatiq

There’s a learning curve as the industry moves away from cookie-based solutions, which we see as an opportunity for us all to refocus on what matters - trust and transparency. As we move forward, we believe contextual solutions play a crucial role in a diversified portfolio approach to consumer-centric identity. Education and cooperation, like the IAB Whitepaper on Understanding the Post-Third Party Cookie World, are crucial to achieving our key goals:

  1. Brands getting the most for their marketing dollars;
  2. Publishers having the tools to operate in a way that allows them to optimise their inventory efficiently and
  3. Users getting the best possible experience when it comes to advertising.

In general, when it comes to context we want to encourage everyone to be curious and ask questions. The context-focused industry is growing rapidly so it’s the perfect time to have these conversations with platforms partners. There is a rich future for cookieless solutions and we believe that EMEA will lead the way”.  Carlotta Zorzi, Enterprise Brand Partnerships, Oracle Data Cloud

In this week's member-guest post, we hear from Mia Sari, Manager, Solutions Consulting at Xandr, as she shares her thoughts on the 'free internet' and why she prefers to see highly relevant ads. 

Mia is a Solutions Consultant at Xandr, where she advises traders to yield optimal results for their programmatic campaigns. Before joining Xandr, Mia worked at a Berlin-based start-up Retail Media Group where she built the company’s programmatic infrastructure from scratch. In her spare time, she writes about all things programmatic and she works on her passion project where she builds mobile games to inspire girls to reach their full potential.  

With no end to the pandemic insight, I turned to bingeing TV shows and films for comfort, like countless other people who found themselves stuck at home. One of my favourites is  "This is Us", which I streamed on Amazon Prime. 

After I gloriously completed watching three seasons in a row, I got stuck. The only option I had to continue watching season four was to pay. And this was the moment where I thought to myself, "I wish there is an ad-supported option, instead".


The old adage "nothing is for free" is correct. For every unpaid piece of content we receive on the internet, we give away a bit of our personal information. It could be our age, our holiday destination, or even our favourite sports. Much of this data will be collected from cookies downloaded onto our computers. Cookie data allows web publishers to track our online journeys and observe the actions we take on different websites. 

If used for good, the data can improve the quality of the ads we see. We no longer need to see the ad that is not relevant to us. This can be beneficial as we only see products that are aligned with our interests. Long gone are the days when we had to endure watching diaper ads despite not having any babies in the family.

On top of that, advertising can help us discover new products that we would have otherwise never come across. I could share my recent decision to continue my study as an example. After reading a lot of online content about Artificial Intelligence (AI), I received a highly relevant ad of a higher education program on the subject. It was what I needed at the time and I wouldn't have found this program any other way. You could call it luck, or perhaps karma. As a matter of fact, it is only a smart algorithm on the back-end.

Nevertheless, as big companies are collecting data about their customers from nearly everything they do on their platforms, there is concern over ethics of tracking and using consumer data without consent. 

As a result, a few policies have been created in order to regulate data protection, like GDPR in Europe and CCPA in California. Since the policies came into full effect, the total sanctions for data violations count to date reaches more than $330 million in Europe.

The same concern also triggers the rise of subscription-based models. Netflix, The New York Times, Spotify, and the other content players have shown that users are indeed willing to pay for digital content to remove ads. 

Soon enough, we find ourselves overwhelmed by digital media subscriptions. We have multiple TV streaming services, music services, news subscriptions, app subscriptions, and software subscriptions. It's like an infinity buffet, for those who can pay.

But the excessive amount of options has a downside: 47% of consumers are frustrated with the increasing number of streaming services, according to the 13th edition of Deloitte’s annual Digital Media Trends survey. We may be entering an era of ‘subscription fatigue’.

And the more we subscribe to consume media content, the higher the recurring cost we have to pay. Research found that Europeans spend at least €130 per month on subscription services. Every year, 350 billion euros is spent in Europe on these types of purchases. 

Appropriately, when Hulu and Spotify provide the option of an ad-supported plan on their platform, a lot of people jump on the bandwagon. Hulu says 70% of its 82 million viewers are on ad-supported plans. 

This could be the idyllic middle ground we seek out: We see non-intrusive and relevant ads by default, and we have the option to remove them by paying a subscription. In this way, consumers have a choice between both extremes.


As I write this, I already have subscription plans on Spotify, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Masterclass, Amazon, Netflix, and Disney+. The latter I just added recently only to see baby Yoda. "How many subscriptions is too many?", I asked myself.

Therefore, when Amazon prompted me to pay more to continue watching season four of "This is Us", all I want is for them to show me a few short but highly relevant ads instead.

IAB Europe
Rond-Point Robert
Schuman 11
1040 Brussels
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