Q&A with Ashish Mahajan of IPG’s Cadreon

By Archived Rubicon Project Archives
Cover image for  article: Q&A with Ashish Mahajan of IPG’s Cadreon

This is one in a series of interviews with leading buyers across EMEA titled “Automation and TV in EMEA.” Ashish Mahajan appeared to discuss these topics with Jay Sears, Senior Vice President Marketplace Development of Rubicon Project, at The 3rd Annual Real Time Trading Update from Europe’s Buy Side in London, UK on March 26, 2015.

Your Name:Ashish Mahajan

Your Company:Cadreon

Your Title:Senior Partner Platform Manager, EMEA

SEARS: What do you read to keep up with politics, art and culture?

MAHAJAN:Economist, Telegraph, Guardian

SEARS: What do you read to keep up with friends?

MAHAJAN:Facebook and WhatsApp

SEARS: What do you read to keep up with our industry?

MAHAJAN: Mostly Twitter and LinkedIn. I scan AdExchanger and Media Post regularly but AdExchager’s daily news digest email is useful in catching up on industry news on the go. Also, I have a few Google Alerts set up on certain topics of interest.

SEARS: With regards to advertising automation and programmatic, what are Cadreon’s three biggest EMEA initiatives in 2015?


  1. Increasing the usage of PMPs 
  2. Digital Out of Home
  3. Scaling of existing products and services

SEARS: On average in the EMEA market -- out of each $1.00 spent on media (all media, not just digital) by one of your advertisers, how much today (in 2015) is spent on automated or programmatic channels?

MAHAJAN:$0.05 - $0.10 (all media).

SEARS: What will this number be in 2017?

MAHAJAN:More than $0.20 (all media).

SEARS: Tell us the about the EMEA operations of Cadreon:

MAHAJAN:Cadreon is the incubator of ad technology within the Mediabrands group. The role of tech is to enable data driven media buying and Cadreon designs and executes those solutions for Mediabrands.

SEARS: Draw an analogy between the automation of television and a European football game. Are we in the Pre-game? Still driving to the stadium?

MAHAJAN: It’s match day. We are at the stadium. The pre-match segments airing on TV/Radio are building the lead up to the game and we are awaiting team news to find out who’ll start and who’ll be on the subs bench.

SEARS: How can advertising automation help the strategy and planning functions (directly or indirectly) at an advertising agency?

MAHAJAN: Automation brings efficiencies to the trading process, allowing the agencies to focus on their core functions of strategy and planning. It also indirectly enables the purchasing of optimum inventory using the data made available through the said automation.

SEARS: Can linear TV be automated, yes or no?


SEARS: What two-three events or happenings will accelerate the automation of television?


  1. Automation of VOD. The automation and enablement of data based buys across the broadcasters’ VOD inventory will unlock the true potential of broadcaster data; which will lead to applying of those principles to linear TV trading.
  1. Adoption of Tech. More broadcasters are now embracing ad technology which has so far remained the domain of digital. As the propagation of tech within broadcast industry increases, the pipes between buy and sell side will be quick to connect.
  1. Change in consumers’ viewing habits: TV consumption habits are changing at a faster rate than ever before. As viewers shift towards IP based viewing or catchup/time-shifted content, the traditional model of trading in TV will evolve accordingly.

SEARS: Which of the following will accelerate the automation of site direct (direct orders) budget? Pick all that apply:

  1. Dynamic access to all publisher inventory [vs. just “remnant” or “auction”]
  2. Ability to leverage publisher first party data
  3. Ability to leverage advertiser first party data [against all publisher inventory, especially premium]
  4. Availability of rich media, expandable units and larger IAB Rising Star formats
  5. Ability to more easily curate audiences for specific advertisers across the premium content of multiple publishers
  6. All of the above

MAHAJAN:All of the above. There is a better understanding around the usage and value of both publisher and advertiser party data across the industry, compared to a few years ago -- which is unlocking more supply and increasing demand at the same time.

SEARS: If you could go to the airport right now with friends or family and fly anywhere in the world for vacation, who would you take and where would you go?

MAHAJAN: Anywhere in South America. Have yet to set foot on that continent.

SEARS: If you could create an endowment to fund any existing non-profit you designated, what lucky non-profit organization would that be?

MAHAJAN: Having lived in Mumbai for a lot of years, I have always wanted to support the charities working to provide education for the underprivileged children of its vast slum population.

SEARS: What is your favorite restaurant in the world?

MAHAJAN: L'entrecote -- they have only one dish on their menu; and haven’t they got it right!

SEARS: Thanks, Ash!

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