Procter & Gamble is under attack.

The enemy? Some 42 upstart brands – identified by consulting firm CB Insights – that are tapping into the tools of digital commerce to target the world's largest advertiser across all of its categories.

The assault is not new. In fact, according to Randall Rothenberg, President/CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), "We date its origin to 2010. That's not arbitrary. It's the year Warby Parker was founded."

But it was only at the IAB's 2018 Annual Leadership Meeting (ALM) that the full dimensions of the economic upheaval were understood – the result of a year-long study by the trade organization, the findings of which were articulated by Rothenberg in a keynote address.

"This is a revolution," he insisted to the 1,900 conference delegates as he introduced "The Rise of the 21st-Century Brand Economy" report. "We have lived for almost 140 years inside what we call the 'indirect-brand' economy.