Phil Smith, director general, ISBA, the trade body representing the UK's advertisers, had a stark message for his members: consumers are "increasingly disenchanted" with advertising, particularly digital communications, where the process of targeting consumers often overlooks consumer consent.

Equally, advertisers are starting to question the effectiveness of their digital advertising efforts when, increasingly, context, i.e. which websites their advertising appears on, does not align with brand values.

Smith was speaking at the ISBA annual conference, which took place in London in March 2017 a few weeks after revelations in The Times that brand advertising was being positioned next to extremist content. The role of programmatic advertising in facilitating such placements, and in delivering fake ads, were major talking points during the day.

The challenge of context