Jamie West of Sky on TV and Ad Automation

By Archived Rubicon Project Archives

Jay Sears, Senior Vice President of Marketplace Development at Rubicon Project recently spoke with Jamie West, Group Director of Advanced Advertising at Sky about TV and ad automation. The two appeared at a program on the topic at Dmexco in Colgne, Germany in September. (You can view a video of the program below.)

(TV and ad automation was discussed at the Dmexco conference in Cologne, Germany in front of an audience of nearly one thousand people. Pictured left to right: Jay Sears; Michael Kahn, CEO of Performics and Global Performance Practice Lead -- Publicis Media; Rhys Nölke, Senior Vice President Strategy of RTL Group; Jamie West, and Michael Strober, Executive Vice President, Client Strategy and Ad Innovation and Co-Head of Turner Ignite at Turner Broadcasting. Follow the links above to read Jay's interviews with them.)

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

JAMIE WEST: I prefer good old fashioned phone calls or in-person conversations.

SEARS: What do you read to keep up with the advertising technology and TV industries?

WEST: All the usual blogs and online sources but again for me it’s better to speak to peers and partners to understand progress and opportunity.

SEARS: What’s your favorite TV commercial of all time?

WEST: John Smith's Bitter Top Bombing.  It’s a classic.

SEARS: When you speak about TV ad automation, how widely or narrowly do you define this?

WEST: We at Sky are lucky enough to play in the full range automation from work flow and order automation to programmatic to addressable.

SEARS: With regards to advertising automation impacting TV, what are the biggest trends you expect to impact companies in 2016 and 2017?

WEST: At Sky the biggest trend will be data enablement. The second biggest will be managing inventory across multiple platforms as one campaign, i.e linear, vod and iptv.

SEARS: With regards to advertising automation impacting TV, what are the most overblown topics that you wish would just go away?


  1. The lack of understanding by tech companies on TV requirements and the use cases of TV and generally assuming that online tech or processes will work or are sufficient.
  2. The assumption that TV will be 100% programmatic when the vast majority of advertisers use TV differently to their existing programmatic inventory.

SEARS: Please describe your company or division.

WEST: Sky is known as a pay TV platform in Europe; however, in reality this means that Sky is a content company that exists on TV, in VoD and across apps and online. Sky Media sells and represents not just Sky channels and products but also the likes of NBCU, Discovery, Viacom and A&E Networks across TV and all media.

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

WEST: For brands that are data relevant, i.e. insurance, automation of data-led campaigns will be hugely valuable. For brand fame less so.

SEARS: Transparency -- on media costs, on data, on inventory -- continues to be a lightning rod issue. Should transparency be a negotiated benefit for the advertiser client, yes or no?

WEST: No.  Partners should be working for brands to drive effective advertising outcomes. The relationship should be based on trust and where there isn’t transparency a partner is likely to be suspected of making decisions based on profit and not advertising outcomes.

SEARS: Please answer the following statements yes or no.




(Video above: TV and ad automation was discussed at the Dmexco conference in Cologne, Germany in front of an audience of nearly one thousand people.)

SEARS: A young family member has come to you seeking career advice. They must choose one of the following careers: ad agency executive, media company executive, ad technology executive or company marketing executive. Which career path do you recommend and why?

WEST: Depends on their interest and skills.

SEARS: What is your favorite restaurant in the world?

WEST: La Mena in Las Rotes, Denia, Spain

SEARS: Thanks, Jamie!

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