Regulation, adspend, media and measurement trends from IAB Interact 2012

Joseph Clift

IAB Interact, a two-day event for the online marketing industry organised by trade body IAB Europe and held in Barcelona in May 2012, took place against a backdrop of economic and political volatility.

Many European businesses have been impacted by the ongoing sovereign debt crisis, and its knock-on effects on consumer confidence and willingness to spend. The marketing industry, particularly the online marketers represented by the IAB, also fear new European Union regulations contained in the e-privacy directive, which requires that advertisers and publishers secure the explicit consent of web users before tracking their online behaviour via cookies.

Nevertheless, some longer-term trends are working in the industry's favour. IAB research discussed at the conference indicated that the region's online adspend continues to grow, with digital engagement driven by a general diversification in consumers' media habits. The measurement of digital ad effectiveness – long a major concern of clients unwilling to commit their budgets to online media – is also improving, if the trade body is to be believed.

The regulatory climate