Close to his one-year anniversary as Hong Kong CEO at IPG Mediabrands, Kasper Aakerlund shares his initial ‘market shock’ when he first came on board last July after 27 months at GroupM, where he was COO for Vietnam and Indonesia. During his tenure there he was involved in designing and launching the company’s digital performance unit GroupM Connect Vietnam (search, social and programmatic), considered a sister entity to Xaxis.
Could you recap your early days at IPG after doing your first few rounds of meeting Hong Kong advertisers and publishers?
I see opportunity with programmatic buying in Hong Kong, for sure. We, as an industry, haven’t been good enough to explain to advertisers about the advances of programmatic. That’s the reason why we are investing so heavily in programmatic here, because I see blue-ocean opportunity for our clients that I want to let them tap into.
Brand-safety technology is developing right now and making it possible for us to only enter a pre-bid auction if anti-fraud tools show no traces of a fraudulent impression or site. These tools put mechanisms in place which were not possible before. And that’s why I’m surprised that brand safety is being shot at as the reason why we shouldn’t buy programmatically.
Brand safety has always been a challenge but I don’t believe that not buying programmatically is going to help. I most definitely believe it’s the opposite. In digital, everything can be bought programmatically and is measurable, so buying manually is sometimes creating more risks.