Niall Hogan, Southeast Asia Managing Director, of Integral Ad Science (IAS), recently attended GroupM’s inaugural SEA Supply Summit, which took place in Oct 2017 in Singapore. Niall shares his takeaways from this summit and also talks about the challenges that the media and publishing industry all face collectively about brand safety, viewability, and ad fraud.
Q: Can you tell us a bit more about this Summit and how IAS fit into it?
Niall: GroupM’s SEA Supply Summit was really an impressive summit with a well-presented agenda and it runs very sleek. The summit was organised by [m]PLatform and Xaxis, supported on the day by GroupM agencies, such as Mindshare. I have not been to any similar summit in Southeast Asia yet which is dedicated to the publishers / sell side. To get 150 premiums publishers from each of the markets to attend this event in Singapore, I think it is really a good achievement by GroupM.
This summit is designed to provide a platform for publishers, agencies and tech providers in the media and publishing landscape to embrace the changes, most importantly to explore the opportunities to drive the industry forward. I would say this is also what we do at IAS, to work across all parties by providing the solution they need to tackle the emerging challenges around brand safety, viewability, and ad fraud. We are delighted to be invited to speak at the Summit and provide insights around the transparency in the supply chain.
Q: Majority of the audiences represent the premium publishers across Southeast Asia, what is the most discussed topic during the Summit?
Niall: First of all, this is really impressive publisher audiences – a great mix of international publishers such as CNN, BBC, ESPN, Bloomberg, and regional publishers such as Mediacorp, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), Lazada, Kapook, Kompas Gremedia…
I would say the most discussed topics are probably (publisher) inventory and how to optimise it, and also first-party data. Publishers value and want to protect their first-party data in today’s media landscape, and I am glad to see that GroupM is very transparent about what they do with the data they collect and provide that transparency back to the publishers and enable them to generate more revenue. At IAS, we know publisher inventory is valuable and we’re here to prove it. We have been working with publishers around the globe to prove their media’s value and maximise ad revenue.
Q: What is the key message throughout the day? Is there any best practice being shared?
Niall: One of the key messages throughout the day is around how important like brand safety, viewability and ad fraud are to GroupM’s clients, and essentially to the whole industry. I am delighted to see Unilever, one of our important clients too, was on stage sharing their best practice and how important these quality metrics are for them in terms of media buying.
Q: What is the biggest highlight of this GroupM Supply Summit?
Niall: John Montgomery, Global Executive Vice President, Brand Safety, GroupM Global, gave a great presentation about What Should Your Viewability & Brand Safety Strategy Be? He put it into content for the audience and explained how his clients such as Unilever and P&G think it important to them, essentially to all our clients. I think the most highlighted message that John wants to deliver at this Summit is about the impression waste, the inefficiency and how to get a better result for their clients.
John shared that when GroupM Global look at all the stats, around 50% of the impressions are never viewed and all these impressions are just wasted. He continued to compare that stat with fraud and brand safety in this ecosystem, the biggest projection about fraud is about 20% and 8-9% about brand safety. Viewability, on the other hand, is 50% of wastage. He thinks viewability is the quickest way to improve what GroupM does on behalf of their clients. It doesn’t mean that brand safety and ad fraud are not important, they should all be considered as a whole.
The biggest takeaway to the publishers at this Summit is to focus on viewability, get your brand safety right, make sure you target humans, not bots. If you can do all of these, you can optimise your inventory and make more money from GroupM.
Q: Lastly, I heard that people were taking photos of your presentation slides… What was your presentation about? And what are you excited about in the upcoming 2018?
Niall: (laugh…) I guess what we talked about is all the pressing issues in the region so the audiences are really interested in the solutions that we provide to make them brand safe, viewable and be seen by real humans. As I mentioned earlier, I’m really excited about our amazing publisher optimisation solution and I think that will be the next big thing for the publishers in 2018. It is all about delivering verified inventory to their clients, thus the publishers can get more intelligence and most importantly more revenue. We also provided a case study for each of the audience and we really look forward to having a more in-depth conversation with the publishers in Southeast Asia and empowering them to eliminate impression waste and increase revenue.