Cristina Sagarduy of Annalect -- The Jay Sears Interview

By Archived Rubicon Project Archives
Cover image for  article: Cristina Sagarduy of Annalect -- The Jay Sears Interview

Editor’s Note -- Be sure to read these additional interviews by Jay Sears with other media professionals who recently participated in Rubicon Project’s programming during Advertising Week Europe in London: Nicolas Bidon of WPP’s Xaxis, Steve Hobbs of Aegis’ Amnet, Marco Bertozzi of Publicis’ VivaKi and Stephen Edwards of Hearst Magazines U.K.

Today we present a Q&A with advertising automation executive Cristina Sagarduy of Omnicom Media Group’s Annalect. Cristina recently participated in Rubicon Project’s programming at Advertising Week Europe in London.

Your Name: Cristina Sagarduy

Your Company: Omnicom Media Group’s Annalect

Your Title: Deputy MD Annalect EMEA

SEARS: What flavor ice cream best describes your management style?

SAGARDUY: Never thought I was going to have to make this association, since I am a Gemini. It must be Tutti- Frutti.

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 is spent on automated or programmatic channels?

SAGARDUY: Not enough. And the figure changes significantly by market.

SEARS: What was this number in 2011?

SAGARDUY: Almost nothing.

SEARS: What will this number be in 2015?

SAGARDUY: We will get to double digits in all markets. Some of the figures will start with “3” -- sadly not in all markets.

SEARS: Describe how most media (all media, digital + non-digital, non-programmatic media) is bought and sold today.

SAGARDUY: My answer would be that it is not connected. It is planned in an integrated way but bought in silos.

SEARS: Tell us the about the EMEA operations of Accuen.

SAGARDUY: Accuen has a great footprint across the region with a strong central team to ensure EMEA wide initiatives can be activated and knowledge flows through the network.

Please tell us:

  • SEARS: How many employees are there in EMEA?

o SAGARDUY: In total around 70 people

  • SEARS: What countries are you entering in 2014?

o SAGARDUY: Greece

SEARS: What are Accuen’s three biggest initiatives in EMEA for 2014?


1. Improve our data infrastructure capabilities; ingestion and distribution

2. Publisher and data relationships

3. Wider programmatic connection of non-RTB channels through Accuen.

SEARS: By 2015, what percentage of total media spend in the EMEA region across your holding company will be programmatic?

SAGARDUY: Too many uncertainties to predict.

SEARS: To reach a higher adoption of direct order automation and use of the programmatic channel, what are the major impediments to overcome? Rank these in numerical order:


2 Operational or workforce issues inside the holding companies or operating agencies

4 Premium (direct deal) inventory availability via programmatic

3 Lack of proper ad technology

1 Alignment of agency compensation models

SEARS: What should top comScore publisher CROs do to build their direct order automation and programmatic selling with your trading desk and operating agencies?

SAGARDUY: Be more transparent; sell what they have and connect their value.

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

SAGARDUY: For all the options given above and because it can enable the transformation of traditional trading into programmatic bringing more quality to the channel and increasing the share of addressable media through programmatic.

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


Leaders UK, Netherlands, Denmark

Laggards Spain, Russia

Tell us a bit more about you:

SEARS: If you could choose a movie star to be the global head of your trading desk, who would you choose and why?

SAGARDUY: Viggo Mortensen , a man with many interests. He may go for this too.

SEARS: If you could travel for pleasure anywhere in the world, to a place you have never been, where would you go?

SAGARDUY: Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania

SEARS: If you were trapped alone on a desert island and needed to choose one ad holding company CEO to accompany you ( other than your own holding company CEO), which CEO would you pick and why?

SAGARDUY: Sir Martin Sorrell chief executive officer of WPP Group; he seems to have opinions and good to see things from the other side.

SEARS: What is your favorite restaurant in the world?

SAGARDUY: Jolastoki (Neguri (Getxo) Spain)

Thanks Cristina!

Jay Sears is Senior Vice President, Marketplace Development for the Rubicon Project. Sears worksJay Searswith leadership and business unit heads across the company to expand Rubicon Project’s potential market. Sears has also served as General Manager, REVV Buyer, where he was responsible for global relations with the buy side including ad holding companies, ad agencies, agency trading desks and demand side platforms headquartered in North America. Jay can be reached at

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