2017 International Breakfast: Connecting the Global Market and Driving International Growth Through Improved Customer Experience

The annual International Breakfast Session on the final day of the 2017 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting in Hollywood, Florida brought together nearly 70 digital advertising thought leaders from 23 countries – spanning from Argentina to Norway and from Canada to Japan – making it one of the largest gatherings since the event’s start four years ago. The International Breakfast Session is a unique opportunity to gather together our board and corporate members along with the heads of international IABs to build stronger global relationships, and to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the global market.

Alexandra Salomon, Senior Director International, IAB, opened the breakfast welcoming everyone and outlined the agenda with main areas of discussion: Country Spotlight – Japan, Coalition for Better Ads and International, and Facilitating Global Business.

Dave Grimaldi, EVP, Public Policy, IAB, called out his appreciation to Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB, for hosting another inspiring Annual Leadership Meeting and thanked Salomon for all her efforts in leading the strong collaboration of the IAB Global Network. Grimaldi underlined the opportunity to discover synergies in government policies overseas.


Country Spotlight – Japan

Masahiro Ajisawa, Chairman, International Relations, IAB Japan / Japan Interactive Advertising Association (JIAA)
Masahiro Ajisawa, Chairman, International Relations, IAB Japan / Japan Interactive Advertising Association (JIAA)

Masahiro Ajisawa, Chairman, International Relations, IAB Japan / Japan Interactive Advertising Association (JIAA), took the stage to announce that JIAA is excited about joining the IAB Global Network as IAB Japan, making JIAA the 44th IAB licensee. Founded in 1999, JIAA launched with 74 member companies and has more than tripled its membership to 229. These companies include many that overlap with IAB, such as Adobe, AOL, Condé Nast, Google, Hearst, and Twitter. Ajisawa noted a natural alignement of the mission of JIAA with the IAB mission. Now, by operating as IAB Japan (JIAA), the association will be better able to represent their members’ global agendas and advocate for their growth in Japan’s rapidly growing market.

Ajisawa handed over the podium to Masahiro Katsuno, Senior Managing Director, JIAA, who read a message from Yoshio Takada, Chairperson of JIAA. Takada expressed his condolences for being unable to attend in-person and participate in this great gathering of leaders at IAB ALM. Takada indicated the high growth potential around the globe for digital advertising, and particularly in Japan. In order to realize this potential he pointed out that two main things must be taken into account: gaining a greater understanding of the Japanese market and allowing advertisers to feel secure with the supply chain. Takada ended his message by thanking Rothenberg and Dave Moore for their leadership and expressing his excitement for IAB Japan and the opportunity to drive common goals, promote global standards and guidelines, create better ads and improve consumer experience, and advance social trust and the industry’s interests in the Japanese marketplace.

Masahiro Katsuno, Senior Managing Director, JIAA
Masahiro Katsuno, Senior Managing Director, JIAA

JIAA, which is the biggest industry group in Japan, is structured similarly to IAB with committees and councils across different functions and focus areas. Ajisawa highlighted Japan’s key differences:

  • Smartphone OS: iOS is bigger than Android in Japan
  • Search (PPC): Yahoo is bigger than Google
  • SNS: Twitter is bigger than Facebook
  • Messaging: Line is the unchallenged platform

Ajisawa also shared that the only ad revenue growth in Japan is coming from digital/internet, which was up 10% YOY in 2015. While TV in Japan is still receiving more ad revenue, it is in decline. He also shared that the video ad market in Japan is forecasted to grow to over $291B by 2020 with the majority of that revenue being driven by smartphones. Finally, Ajisawa noted that their focus areas are very much in line with IAB including viewable impressions, ad fraud, fake news, native advertising and more. IAB Japan will work to improve the industry on all these fronts in order to grow business in a safe, efficient, and consumer friendly way. Ajisawa also shared that JIAA is highly active public policy department to fight for their rights with government representatives and that consumer privacy is a major topic in the industry and they work very closely with administrations on the best course forward for all parties involved.


Coalition for Better Ads and International

Chuck Curran, Partner, Venable
Chuck Curran, Partner, Venable

Chuck Curran, Partner, Venable, took the podium to talk about the progress of the Coalition for Better Ads, which since its start last fall has received great participation from Google, ANA, AppNexus, Unilever, IAB Europe and BVDW/IAB Germany, amongst others, and the headway they have made identifying what consumers want and don’t want from online ads. Curran stressed the importance of Rothenberg’s speech at the Annual Leadership Meeting where Rothenberg called out the necessity of working together to self-regulate in order to move the industry forward. Curran noted that solving the problem of consumer satisfaction is a great opportunity for the Coalition for Better Ads.

The Coalition for Better Ads has developed a methodology to rank ad experiences on desktop and mobile environments that focuses on three key points: 1. To be consumer centric, and only use data derived from testing user preference, 2. To be scientific and reproducible, and 3. To be globally sensitive (while there are regional differences in consumer preferences, they will also look at determining overlap in identifying what consumers want or don’t want).

Curran indicated that there is an imminent announcement from the Coalition for Better Ads to share standards for desktop in North America and Western Europe, as well as better standards for mobile in North America, based on the data-driven research that the coalition has undertaken. The coalition is eager for new and continued participation and input as they work to scale this methodology into new regions of the globe, and Curran encouraged anyone interested in participating to reach out to Jackson Graves at [email protected].

In addressing questions from the audience, Curran discussed that they are testing consumer preferences of dozens of ad formats in a survey based environment, and are accumulating thousands of responses in order to quickly identify the worst performing ad formats in terms of annoyance or driving adoption of ad blockers so that the marketplace will have a defensible and data-driven stance to insist that these ad formats are no longer used. He also indicated that there are separate standards being created for various environments – in-stream, mobile, and others – as they all require their own best practices. While the coalition is looking for cross-regional similarities in preferences, Curran called out that separate standards may have to be developed for specific regions as well. The coalition will also be working on how to make these standards actionable from a regional market perspective, while complimenting the great work the IAB Tech Lab has led with its LEAN principles. Curran closed by saying the coalition will go where the data takes them and will work with members to identify their areas of focus and priorities moving forward to ensure the coalition is making the greatest industry impact it can.


Facilitating Global Business

Laurent Cordier, Managing Director Global Partnerships, Google
Laurent Cordier, Managing Director Global Partnerships, Google

Laurent Cordier, Managing Director Global Partnerships, Google, lead an open discussion on on the challenges of doing business across borders. Cordier opened by sharing how Google is working more and more to have regular global engagement with partners through summits that bring together publishers and encourage them to share industry issues and how they see Google in the market. Cordier shared the commonality he hears from publishers across the globe in terms of the issues the industry is facing and trying to solve for – particularly advertising isn’t making enough money for publishers (especially those with their roots in print).

Cordier spoke about scaling initiatives like AMP, while being considerate of market variations in different regions to assure that users and publishers have an experience consistent with their expectations. Cordier also reinforced that things work best when Google partners with the industry and work together to accomplish common goals and to deliver on the promise of an open and vibrant web experience.

Salomon also shared a few comments from IAB board members regarding marquee issues in doing business globally such as ensuring network quality, using consistent global technical standards, and establishing global processes and use global platforms balanced with unique regional needs.

Townsend Feehan, CEO, IAB Europe
Townsend Feehan, CEO, IAB Europe

Salomon closed the 2017 International Breakfast Session by again thanking everyone for their participation, congratulating JIAA on joining the IAB Global Network, and concluded that there are a lot of exciting things ahead for IAB and the IAB Global Network in 2017.

Browse the full Facebook photo album of the 2017 IAB International Breakfast.