IAB – 2018 Year in Review

Posted by Gai Le Roy On December 20, 2018

As always it has been an eventful year for the digital advertising industry. We are now an $8.5b industry that represents 54% of all media spend, which is underpinned by consumers increasing their time on digital media to over 90 hours per month on their desktops, phones and tablets. In addition, nearly 8 million are now consuming internet delivered media content on their TV screens.

The advertising industry has finally acknowledged that while the very top line marketing strategy should be channel agnostic; the creative development, campaign implementation, monitoring and optimisation will all have nuances dependent on the media plan in play.

Consequently, while as an industry we quite rightly continue to challenge if digital is still a relevant term, there is a greater need than ever for IAB Australia to develop standards, guidelines, formats, measurement and effectiveness tracking through to support rapidly digitising media consumption and ad delivery.

This year we also published our new IAB Australia purpose and Charter, focused on growing sustainable and diverse investment in digital advertising in Australia. We set out do do this in two ways:

1.Demonstrating to advertisers how digital advertising helps to grow their businesses

2.Driving industry standards, guidelines, measurement and benchmarks that not only ensure that our industry can operate but also drive confidence in the market.

I am incredibly proud of the impact and contribution that the IAB and our IAB community has made during the year to support this purpose.There are too many projects to list here, but some highlights for me:

  • Over 26,000 downloads of local IAB resources;
  • 1,500 people attending IAB events including the incredibly successful AdOps and MeasureUp conferences;
  • 200+ people involved in IAB councils and taskforces driving initiatives for the market;
  • Significant reduction of fraud in the market with the roll out of ads.txt which is now implemented on over nine in 10 commercial domains in Australia;
  • Launch of a new monthly industry ratings currency (Digital Content Ratings) with Nielsen as well as introducing weekly audience ratings for the first time;
  • Release of the Australian Digital Advertising Practices with the MFA and AANA – as significant milestone in having all sides of the market agree on principles for 5 key pillars of our industry to drive transparency and confidence;
  • Support for the creative industry through education, guidelines and showcasing cross platform best practices through our bespoke campaign for Choosi;
  • IAB Australia Data Council launched with a raft of new members joining the IAB;
  • Continued to work closely with PwC to provide the market with accurate revenue data and provide members with detailed quarterly reports;
  • Introduction of standards and guidelines that will assist the continued growth of newer ad and revenue options including CTV, podcasting and streaming audio; and
  • Development a closer working relationship with IAB NZ which will see us aligning on more content and guidelines in 2019.


One IAB Council driven initiative that I was really delighted with this year was a simple but powerful solution introduced by the Executive Technology Council to work towards greater gender diversity in the ad-tech sector. The Council’s original composition was 75%+ male, reflective of the very senior end of this industry so each Council member now brings someone of the opposite gender to each meeting. This has not only improved the Council’s gender diversity, but is also bubbling up the voices of broader range of roles and skill sets in our industry discussions. A big shout out and thanks to Dan Robins, Annette Bova and Jonas Jaanimagi for driving this.

On the flipside, I have to admit I found it incredibly disappointing to be on a panel this year and when at the end of a thought provoking conference and session, two senior male industry representatives were offered the opportunity to ask me a question on anything – and I was asked where I bought my trousers. It was done in a playful way (and I respect both men btw) but jeez.Missed opportunity guys!

My team and I would like to thank all our members for their involvement this, but most importantly we encourage you to thank each other. Your involvement with the IAB should hopefully reward you as an individual and it certainly assists your organisation, but more importantly it also helps develop the market.

Looking forward to a cracking 2019.

Gai Le Roy