The “Cannes Conversations” will continue at two events at Cannes Lions Festival hosted by Rubicon Project: The 2nd Annual Agency Trading Desk Panel on Le Rooftop on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 6:00-10:00pm and the 1st Annual Publisher Automation Panel on the Rubicon Project Yacht (the Antisan) Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 6:00-10:00pm. Guests must RSVP here.

Your Name: Arun Kumar

Your Company: IPG Mediabrands

Your Title: President, Mediabrands Audience Platform, W. Europe, APAC, LATAM

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

KUMAR: 15% globally, 30% in the U.S

SEARS: What was this number in 2012?

KUMAR: 10% in the US with less than 5% in the rest of the world

SEARS: What will this number be in 2016?

KUMAR: 50%

SEARS: Will a shift in agency compensation from percentage of spend and FTE models to pay-for-performance (aligning business outcomes with the advertiser) accelerate advertising automation, yes or no?

KUMAR: Yes, if it is done the right way. Automation is critical if one has to work in a pure pay for performance model.

SEARS: What is the mission statement of Mediabrands Audience Platform?

KUMAR: We want to be the intelligence and deployment engine for all automation initiatives in MB.

SEARS: Please tell us:

SEARS: How many employees are there in your global organization?

KUMAR: Total: 850

SEARS: What countries have you entered/will you be entering in 2014?

KUMAR: Eastern Europe, Russia

SEARS: By 2016, what percentage of your holding company’s global media spend will be programmatic?

KUMAR: 15 -20%, not to be confused with automation which will be much higher.


SEARS: What is your trading desk doing to encourage media owners to more aggressively adopt direct order automation?

__1_ Requesting unified negotiation (across custom, direct orders and auction) with our agency trading directors and media owner CROs
__3_ Establishing better business and compensation alignment with agency executives, especially planners
__2_ Assigning value to the media owner’s first party data

SEARS: What is your trading desk doing to encourage advertisers to more aggressively adopt direct order automation?

__1_ Educating agency client service teams on the benefits of automation
__2_ Educating agency clients on the benefits of automation
__3_ Educating holding company, agency and client finance executives on the benefits of automation

SEARS: Why is direct deal automation so important? Is it important?

KUMAR: It is important because as long as an ad just needs to be put in a slot and requires efficiency in optimization, it is done better by algorithms. Data by itself is useless without the ability to apply it for buying. Creating the link is the key.

SEARS: What countries globally are the leaders and laggards in programmatic?

KUMAR: US, UK, Japan and Australia are leaders. Germany, Italy, Spain and India are vastly underdeveloped as compared to their maturity.

Tell us a bit more about you:

SEARS: Who was one of your first mentors as a child?

KUMAR: Dad. Introduced me to technology and systems.

SEARS: What’s your favorite movie?

KUMAR: “Saving Private Ryan”

SEARS: Money is not a concern. You no longer work in advertising or technology. What would you choose to do for work?

KUMAR: Help the Bill Gates Foundation use communication better to solve the world’s problems.

SEARS: What is your favorite restaurant in the world?

KUMAR: Not found it yet.

Thanks Arun!

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