Interactive Advertising Bureau
31 May 2024

Interact 2024 - Day One Highlights

On 21-22 May we hosted our annual flagship conference Interact 2024 in Milan where we brought over 240 industry leaders, innovators, and experts together to answer the big questions needed to shape the future of the digital advertising and marketing industry. 

Thanks to the support of our sponsors, media partners, the team at IAB Italy, and our event host Joanna Burton, we enjoyed two days of content, which focused on our theme ‘The Big Questions. The Smart Answers’

View the event images here.

Going beyond standard keynote presentations and panel discussions, we brought the ‘interactive’ back to Interact this year, with each session framed around a key question that our elite, expert speakers endeavoured to answer. No beating around the bush. It was all about delivering smart answers to the industry's most important questions. Plus we addressed additional questions live on stage through our engaging polls and audience Q&As. 

On day one, we focused our attention on tackling the industry’s biggest challenges and innovations head-on, exploring key topics and unearthing the much-needed answers to areas including the latest digital ad spend figures, what buyers want from digital advertising, how ready the industry is for a world without cookies, what’s next for programmatic TV and Retail Media and if we are measuring the right things. 

Below you can find overviews and key takeaways from each session.

AdEx Benchmark 2023 - Where is Future Advertising Growth Coming From?

Interact 2024 opened with a keynote from our Chief Economist, Daniel Knapp, revealing the top-level results from IAB Europe’s widely-anticipated 2023 AdEx Benchmark Report to show whether the digital advertising industry experienced growth for 2023 and if so, what markets and channels contributed to this growth. 

Daniel gave an exclusive presentation on the key results which will be released on the 12th June! Mark this date in your calendars to access IAB Europe’s 2023 AdEx Benchmark Report. This is the definitive guide to digital advertising expenditure in Europe. 

What Do Buyers Really Want From Digital Advertising?

Following the opening keynote, to ensure we deliver on the growth seen and that we have all of the y components in place to attract advertiser investment, key speakers from Diageo and TIM Group joined the stage to reveal the secrets of what they are really looking for when it comes to digital advertising. They shared exclusive priorities and focus areas, innovative areas that excite them, and their thoughts on what they think is driving the future of digital advertising. 


  • Hannah Bowler, Senior Reporter at The Drum (Moderator) 
  • Tiernan Omorain, Digital Transformation Director at Diageo
  • Alessandra Marinacci, Head of Brand at TIM Group

Key takeaways:

  • Brands want transparency in how data is collected.
  • Testing and learning are important to brands.
  • Brand loyalty is created with a good customer experience.
  • Tiernan shared that Diageo has experimented with creative AI and is innovating with audio by creating personalised audio ads based on location - they see this as an area of growth but that it is more difficult to create engaging creative in audio campaigns.
  • On maintaining clean marketing in mobile campaigns, Alessandra shared that TIM Group leverages social media to make it entertaining to their audience, whilst ensuring that ads aren’t delivered at too high a frequency. It’s important to them to tap into the power of mobile and leverage video to encourage social engagement and sharing. 
  • On the topic of DE&I, Tiernan shared some key insights on what Diageo has done so far:
    • 45% of Diageo’s ads have been created by female producers
    • Diageo ensures its media investment is more representative of the society that enjoys its brands
    • On Guinness’ long-term relationship with rugby, they used this as a platform to have more conversations with publishers to support greater coverage of the women’s games
  • Regarding trends and opportunities in the year ahead, Alessandra shared that TIM Group is exploring VR and more ways to enhance user experience with Generative AI.
  • Diageo is also exploring how to measure views cross-platform in a privacy-compliant way as this will be a ‘game-changer’.

What is the New Intersection of Creativity and Technology?

Continuing on the theme of asking questions to the buy-side, our next session explored the evolving relationship between creativity and technology in content creation with speakers delving into how agencies harness emerging technologies to push the boundaries of storytelling and brand communication. From immersive experiences to AI-driven content, the group answered questions on the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities in leveraging technology to enhance creativity. 


  • Constantine Kamaras, Chairman Emeritus, IAB Europe (Moderator)
  • Sergio Amati, General Manager, IAB Italy
  • Erika Fattori, Group Brand & Communication Director, Nexi

Key takeaways:

  • The group agreed that leveraging first-party data is important as it needs to be optimised in a stricter regulatory environment.
  • They also dived into how Generative AI is empowering creativity if used in the right way.
  • They highlighted that it is important to understand how technology and data work and the origins of the data.
  • Finally, they discussed how technology is changing people’s skills and is creating new marketers. As an industry, we are looking for people with skill sets that don’t yet exist. There is a need for people who understand technology and are ready to discuss its problems but can also transfer this to a business perspective. 

How Does the End of Cookies Lead to Better Digital Marketing?

Next, it was time to tackle one of the industry’s most discussed topics of 2024 - the post third-party cookie era. Given the importance of the subject, the next few sessions were dedicated to answering key questions about how stakeholders are preparing to navigate this new paradigm. 

To kick off the cookie conversation, Mediaplus argued that the abolition of cookies is not imminent but has already happened. With alternative targeting technologies already established, they revealed how data minimsation makes advertising better, not weaker.


  • Sascha Dolling, General Manager at Mediaplus
  • Erika Barbieri, Client Lead at Mediaplus Italia, Mediaplus Italy 

Key takeaways:

  • Sascha began the presentation by stating that as regulations continue to evolve and browsers and gatekeepers restrict global IDs, digital marketing must change. More targeted independent, scalable, and sustainable solutions are needed.
  • In light of this Mediaplus has released NERO AI, a solution that relies exclusively on global identifiers for more precision. 
  • He demonstrated that the solution relies on three approaches - verified context taxonomy, interests and behaviours of users, and individual value systems. 
  • He showed that the solution works with the content of the website, and how it uses a large language model for a deep understanding of the users behind the content. This helps to define the audience and audience targeting characteristics using cookie-less and consent-less targeting.
  • By leveraging behaviours based on interest, intent, and psychographics it improves media placements, increases target group affinity, and reactivates additional reach with ID less traffic for marketers. 

Leading Players Are Preparing for Third-Party Cookie Deprecation. Are You Ready?

In the next session, Google and Adlook joined the conversation to discuss how future-thinking ecosystem players are preparing for third-party cookie deprecation. Covering innovative solutions based on Privacy Sandbox technologies they explored what actions you can take today to get ready and stay ahead in the post-cookie world.


  • Hanne Tuomisto-Inch, Director, Privacy Sandbox Partnerships EMEA, Google
  • Lukasz Abgarowicz, Global VP of Sales at Adlook (Part of RTB House) 

Key takeaways:

  • Hanne kickstarted the discussion by explaining why the demise of third-party cookies in Chrome has been delayed. She shared that this was for several reasons including diverse feedback on industry readiness, general industry feedback, and feedback received by the CMA.
  • Even though it is delayed, she confirmed that Privacy Sandbox is not going anywhere. It is here to stay and is one of the tools in the toolbox that will be used in the post third-party cookie era.
  • Both Hanne and Lukasz reiterated that the web and mobile must continue to adapt and raise the bar on privacy to ensure success in this new era. 
  • To conclude they shared that advertisers and publishers should now focus on a cookie-less future, work on website audits, use tools to analyse dependencies on third-party cookies, and continue to provide feedback.

View the presentation here.

Is the Industry Ready for the End of Third-Party Cookies?

To further explore and round up the conversation on the impending world without cookies, our next panel answered key questions on the current challenges, opportunities, and strategies for navigating the post-cookie era, assessing whether our industry is ready for this seismic shift and how strategies can be adapted to ensure effectiveness in the future. 


  • Pete Danks, IAB Europe’s Third-Party Cookie Working Group Lead (Moderator)
  • Christer Ljones, Director of Advertising Data Capabilities at Schibsted
  • Alex Cone, Privacy Sandbox Senior Product Manager at Google
  • Lawrence Horne, Country Director UK at Ogury

Key takeaways:

  • Addressing the delay to the end of third-party cookies in Chrome the panel stressed that we must not to stop testing and learning. The industry should follow its peers and lean into the new era.
  • They also discussed how collaboration and education are key. Numerous advertisers aren’t into the technical side of things, so industry leaders need to ensure that we educate.
  • As signals reduce and privacy grows we need building blocks that will work.
  • In terms of viable solutions, speakers discussed first-party data and why where that goes is important. Zero-party data was also mentioned as a viable solution as it is founded on user respect and understanding intent. 
  • From a Google Chrome and Android perspective the adoption of APIs is a priority area. 
  • When thinking about what scales best for publishers, speakers discussed first-party data having the largest reach and the need to utilise different sets of targeting. 
  • Overall the group agreed that there is still a lot to do on expectation setting and understanding the paradigm shift. 

In a Landscape of Uncertainty, How Can Marketers Leverage Digital Advertising to Deliver Superior Results?

With the post third-party cookie questions answered, it was time to turn to outcomes and other challenges marketers face. In a world affected by the pandemic, climate crises, and misinformation, there are multiple challenges for marketers to overcome. In this keynote, IAS shared strategies for combating misinformation, safeguarding brand reputation, and fostering consumer trust. They also discussed the importance of adopting tools to face ever-evolving circumstances.


  • Michael Issacs-Olaye, Business Development EMEA at Integral Ad Science (IAS)  

Key takeaways:

  • Michael outlined that there is confusion in the market because of incomplete and inaccurate data, meaning reliable data is key to success.
  • He shared several challenges and key factors that marketers should keep in mind:
    • Climate change - how this is affecting the world and how we should play our part
    • The pandemic - when advertisers found smarter ways to spend in a digital environment
    • Macroeconomic impact - the importance of navigating the market in light of macroeconomic changes and geopolitical conflicts
    • Misinformation and fake news (especially with elections coming) and how to deal with it
  • In terms of consumer expectations, Michael revealed that:
    • 94% believe brands should promote sustainability
    • 57% of consumers prefer to see advertising on safe websites
    • 80% think misinformation sites should be avoided
    • 80% believe brands should promote diversity.
  • He then shared that media tools are important to help manage quality. This includes brand safety and suitability measurement, viewability, and invalid traffic.
  • He rounded this up by saying that industry alignment on the quality and assessment of tools is crucial. 

View the presentation here. 

What Does a Holistic Ad Tech Stack for Broadcasters Look Like?

It was then time to turn our attention to one of the industry’s most discussed and rapidly evolving channels - CTV and addressable television. With so many questions, panels, podcasts and conferences on this topic, we wanted to give it due care and attention by starting with a fascinating keynote from RTL Group.  Focusing on the recently announced tech cooperation between RTL Deutschland and ProSiebenSat1, RTL explored what it can do, how it opens up completely new performance dimensions in total video advertising for publishers, agencies, and advertisers, and what the future holds.


  • Martin Hoberg, Chief International AdTech Officer at RTL Group 

Key takeaways:

  • Martin opened his presentation by explaining that to create the right environment for cross-media ad products and to find a way to improve how the digital TV ecosystem and the linear TV ecosystem can work together, you need one holistic video advertising engine, and how this can be created by bringing the two corporations together.
  • The main idea for the cooperation is to become one innovative leader for total video.
  • He shared that both companies have the tools to measure and operate linear, addressable, connected TV and online video and can create stronger solutions by aligning their systems. 
  • Finally, he revealed that the overall goal is to transform the ad system for greater efficiency, autonomy, synergies, and go-to-market strategies. 

Is TV Programmatic Buying Finally Going Mainstream?

To explore the wonderful world of TV further, our next session brought industry leaders together to address the rise of TV programmatic buying in Europe. To answer questions on how it’s growing and what will happen next, the panel explored the challenges and opportunities inherent in this evolving and often complex landscape and shared insights and practical examples of how TV buying is moving to the mainstream.


  • Vincent Flood, Founder & Editor-in-Chief at VideoWeek (Moderator)
  • Beatriz Pérez Montequi, Head of Sales Italy & Spain at Samsung Ads
  • Anthony Katsur, CEO at IAB Tech Lab
  • Adrien Masson, Head of Ad Tech Sales, Southern Europe at Amazon Ads 

Key takeaways:

  • The panel opened by discussing how TV conversion varies by region. How addressable TV is bought in the U.S. differs from the European market, with Europe still mostly dedicated to CTV.
  • On main challenges, the panel discussed the advertiser’s need for scale and reach and how to avoid ‘Zombie TV’ (i.e. when a TV is left on to stream but isn’t viewed by a person). Technology solutions, including the Tech Lab SDK, can detect things like Zombie TV so ads aren’t wasted. 
  • Regarding programmatic setup, the panel discussed how greater connections between DSPs and the media agencies’ buying solutions enable more dynamic pricing to be used in programmatic guaranteed.
  • They then discussed how traditional TV was typically restricted to bigger brand budgets and how real-time bidding (RTB) has helped democratise advertising for all. Now smaller local and bigger brands have access to the same programmatic systems and data - this is the beauty of programmatic TV.
  • The panel finished up by discussing measurement and the potential of cross-screen measurement. They shared that if we want CTV to be successful, we need to get the measurement right. This enables the industry to rethink TV measurement and ensure consistency across platforms. 

After the Hype, is it Time for a Reckoning for Retail Media?

It was then time to move on to another high-growth channel - Retail Media. Much like CTV, Retail Media has captivated investors, journalists, and buyers in 2024. During this session, speakers teased out the answers to the much-asked questions on Retail Media. Reflecting on the current state of Retail Media in Europe and its future trajectory in digital advertising, they explored the hurdles we need to overcome to fuel growth and innovation and the key opportunities retailers as media businesses present to brands. 


  • Marie-Clare Puffett, Industry Development & Insights Director at IAB Europe (Moderator)
  • Kim Ludlow, Head of International Retail Media Sales (EMEA & APAC) at Microsoft
  • James Allison, Director Market Development at Advertima
  • Marco Magnaghi, Managing Director at GroupM Nexus, Italy
  • Luis Gisbert Lobo, Head of Retail Partnership for Iberia and Italy at Unlimitail 

Key takeaways:

  • The panel opened up by discussing that while there is hype around Retail Media it is still in a nascent stage.
  • As an industry, they suggested that we are still at the beginning of the journey and need to understand Retailers first.
  • Regarding the current challenges, the group discussed the importance of closed-loop reporting metrics and how different regions in EMEA are at different stages in their Retail Media journeys. They suggested that while the IAB is doing good things for standardisation, each market is different and that we need to recognise each market, retailer, and vertical and understand the assets to apply common standards. We need to ensure all environments are connected by data too.
  • The group also discussed how Retail Media presents a massive opportunity to communicate to consumers in-store, and that the future lies in a full-funnel approach, and having a one-stop shop for Retailers.
  • When asked whether Retail Media is on the road to a reckoning, speakers suggested that we need an omnichannel approach and to close the loop with more unified reporting and metrics to show brands why they should invest in this space. Transparency is key to this.
  • To conclude this session, the speakers suggested it is not yet time for a reckoning as it is too early. We need to ride the wave for Retail Media in less developed markets and talk less and do more to make it happen.

Are Fading Signals Creating New Opportunities?

To round up the day we turned our attention to measurement. Welcoming Brand Metrics to the stage and setting the scene on measurement, this keynote explored the changing nature of campaign outcome data in shaping future strategies by drawing exclusive insights from 30k+ brand lift measurements. .


  • Anders Lithner, CEO at Brand Metrics

Key takeaways:

  • The presentation started by discussing how the industry has focused on data delivery in digital ad campaigns and how it mainly measures exposure (reach) and delivery (clicks).
  • Anders then went on to say that we should also be able to measure the intermediary steps, which can be classified as brand-lifting elements, and that agencies should ask for brand-lift feedback data for all channels. 
  • He then showed how the Brand Metrics tool runs brand lift measurement and demonstrated its scale.
  • Across 25k campaigns the average brand lift results showed:
    • Brand awareness: 3,1%. – top performing: 5,7X
    • Brand consideration: 2,9% - top performing 7,4X.
    • Brand preference: 2,4% - top performing 6X
    • Action Intent: 1,7% - 3,9X

View the presentation here. 

Are We Measuring the Right Things?

And just like that, we were at the end of day one, and what better way to finish the day than by answering some of the arguable most important questions on measurement? To round everything up and leave our audience with the answers to what tools they should be using, panelists in the last session explored whether we are measuring the right things and what our focus should be on in terms of measurement as we move into a new era of digital advertising.


  • David Cohen, CEO at IAB US (Moderator)
  • Steve Lockwood, Head of Client Measurement at TikTok
  • Mattia Salvi, CEO & Co-Founder at Aryel
  • Nick Reid, SVP & Managing Director, EMEA at DoubleVerify
  • Alice Beecroft, Senior Director, Global Strategy & Partnerships at Yahoo Advertising 

Key takeaways:

  • The discussion started with the speakers sharing the KPIs they thought were most important to advertisers, with ROI taking the top spot. It was also highlighted that a continuation of measurement, from impressions and attention to outcomes as a whole, is also very important.
  • The panel then went on to discuss how the use of reach and frequency are evolving and how the most sophisticated advertisers will look at both this and how it can drive ROI.
  • Regarding what works well, the group discussed how the ability to measure media quality has evolved significantly and that the resources to measure marketing these days are incredible as we have endless tools available.
  • When thinking about challenges, the group discussed fragmentation as the greatest source of frustration as there is no single way of measuring. This makes it more difficult to put budgets across channels.
  • Diving a little more into AI, the group discussed how it can be used to enhance performance and agreed that it would be interesting to see how it helps improve measurement.
  • David then asked how each speaker would change the industry if they had a magic wand. Answers included:
    • Removing any nuances with ad property to enable cross-media measurement 
    • Breaking down walled gardens to help enable standardisation
    • Ensuring a willingness to drive change in all environments
    • Simplifying processes 
  • To round everything up, the panel played a short game of quick-fire word association. Here’s what they came up with on the spot:
    • MFA - Issue
    • Attention - Outcomes
    • Incremental reach - Opportunity
    • AI - Misunderstood
    • Attribution - Optimisation
    • Probabilistic - Deterministic 

After a jam-packed day of interactive and engaging content, attendees were invited to attend a networking cocktail reception to continue the great conversations and connections, and to celebrate with fellow attendees.

Check out the Day Two highlights here

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