News & Opinion

Pemsel at ISBA: Ignoring context is "totally illogical"

Speaking at ISBA's annual conference, Guardian Media Group's chief executive discussed the value of context, building long-term brand value and relations with Google and Facebook. 

On the subject of context, Pemsel said that it's "totally illogical" for advertisers to take the view that "as long as the price is right and the person is targeted, why should it really matter about paying for context?" 

Following the launch of the Advertising Association's trust report, Pemsel added: "In a world where brand trust is eroding over time, for brands, why are we surprised if we're targeting people relentlessly at the bottom of the funnel and not really caring about long-term brand value?"

Pemsel went on to tell interviewer Joe Mayes, Bloomberg's media reporter, that while his relationship with Google has involved some "very productive" collaboration, with Facebook it was "somewhat more complicated".

"The Guardian is very purposeful, has a high bar of values and monetises as best it can", he explained. "Facebook has a business model that monetisies virality with no sense of ownership over what gets distributed across its platform. Those things are very difficult to align."

Also speaking at the event, David Dinsmore, News UK's chief operating officer and chair of the News Media Association, drew attention to the growing importance of context for advertisers. He told delegates: "Probably for the people in this room, the more important thing [than a regulatory, political and public backlash against the tech platforms] is that, over the last five years, more and more money has been poured into the advertising environment and effectiveness has gone down.

"That clearly is a massive issue and I think that in five years' time the people who are charged, i.e. you, with selling this stuff are going to realise that we have to do this in different ways, and that just pouring money into a digital black hole is not the answer in itself.

"Context will become more important and how we actually speak to our consumers and the way in which we do it. It doesn't have to be targeted at all times and we have to be wider."

Sources: Campaign and News Media Association 


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