Previous events

Does attention matter?

Newsworks teamed up with IAB for an event on the 6th of September to ask the question: does attention matter?

In what was an insightful debate, ZenithOptimedia's Richard Shotton, MediaCom's Tim Lawrence and the Guardian's Ian Gibbs discussed consumer attention and to what extent it matters. Lawrence said it's about understanding "how people make decisions about when to pay attention and picking those moments".

Shotton and IAB's Alex Kozloff provided conflicting views on Robert Heath's "low attention processing" theory that advertising does not require active attention. Shotton said although "there's a possibility of gaining attention with advertising, it's not a given" suggesting advertising does not always work on a subconscious level. However, Kozloff argued in a multi-platform world "a heartbeat creative style is what we should be aiming for."

The debate followed presentations of Newsworks' The battle for attention study with PwC and the IAB's new Real Living project. PwC's Sam Tomlinson, Newsworks' Denise Turner said that now more than ever "there is a battle for people's attention" with both passive and active attention playing a role in how advertising is received. Tomlinson pointed to findings showing that "print newspapers demand higher attention than any other media platform."

IAB UK's Tim Elkington lead with a more digital-led focus on exploring how devices compete for our attention. He talked through the findings of the body's 'Real Living' research, conducted with Sparkler.

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